11. A Painful Review
A Painful Review
For the next weeks Glorfindel continued to wander about in his self induced haze refusing to face the problem that had brought him to this isolated talan south of the main Imladris complex. He was aware of Elrond’s attempts to contact him but he stubbornly refused to acknowledge them and he was relieved when eventually they stopped. He neither wanted, or expected, any visitors to spoil his solitude. From time to time he made forays into the woods to check his snares and gather berries and edible roots. It was after he returned from one such trip when he entered the glade and climbing into the talan found a travel pack along with his weapons lying on the floor. Glancing about for whoever had brought it he noted that Asfaloth had been thoroughly groomed and the grooming items had been hung next to the tack on a low branch below the talan. With some relief he dived into the pack and was delighted to find his favorite soap and shampoo. A thorough soaking in the nearby stream was long overdue!
As he continued to explore his new riches his hand brushed a rolled paper bearing the seal of Imladris. Hesitating he finally withdrew and unrolled it revealing the graceful script of Elrond. Reluctantly he forced himself to read the words of his lord, and his friend.
You are missed but your need for solitude while you decide a proper course of action is understood. Take as long as you need. Additional supplies will be available if you require them.
In any event, the source of your discomfort will depart for the Gray Havens in another two weeks without expectations of succor or interference. It was wholly her decision in order to ensure the safety of all of Imladris and remove her unwelcome presence from your life.
Glorfindel stared at the elegantly written words but found it difficult to fully comprehend them. Finally he stood up and crumpled the note and threw it as far as he could. He had not expected her to do this. He began pacing back and forth like the great cat she had named him.
Suddenly he stopped. He knew she had done so because he heard her voice saying the words that were echoing through his mind. Shocked he stood there as he found her memories flooding through his brain. There were bittersweet childish ones of him lifting her in his arms and comforting her after her playmates had unthinkingly teased her, golden ones of her riding with him on Asfaloth and of his smile and gentle teasing as she followed after him worshipfully. More painful ones when she recognized his growing discomfort with her attention as she grew into a young elleth and her decision to distance herself in response to it.
Glorfindel was touched witnessing the simple joy she felt as she watched his distant comings and goings from her terrace. He swallowed hard when he discovered she would utter a prayer for his safety and offer thanksgiving when he returned. Remembered his own sense of welcome upon returning to the valley he now knew it had been her own affection that had reached out to envelope him.
Sinking to his knees on the talan floor, he lowered his head to his hands and closed his eyes against the rushing torrent that continued unabated. He shuddered at her sudden fear when she recognized that somehow she was able to predict his travels in advance and then her tentative pleasure when she could organize a service or comfort in response to his needs. She had been content with so little and he had never ever suspected.
Glorfindel shook his head as he felt her growing horror when once more her ‘gift’ grew in power and she sensed the growing disquieting thoughts of Elrond. Faced with his concerns over an unknown entity having access to his mind and those of other members of his staff, she knew she could no longer ignore the implications of her continuing presence in Imladris and struggled to decide what action she should take. He followed her torturous thoughts as she contemplated whether to take her own life or sail for the Undying Lands and sighed in relief when she finally settled on sailing from the Gray Havens. He understood her decision to wait to confess to Elrond until the relief efforts were completed but she found her intentions delayed with the announcement of the celebration.
Glorfindel smiled wryly as he felt her frustration and mixed emotions over the possibility of seeing him one last time before her expected impending punishment. Then again when faced with his attention her emotions turned to rapture and she had simply let events lead her where they would.
Glorfindel groaned as he realized what their lovemaking must have done to her. He recognized that her later efforts to distance herself had been both to protect him and her self from a situation that was fast spinning out of control. She had been forced to do the only thing she could do in telling him she was the mysterious Watcher knowing he would react exactly as he had. And fool that he was he had let his ego; his suspicions and his wounded pride lead him to do exactly as she had expected him to do, run as if Sauron himself were at his heels. He had done so instead of giving her the chance to believe he was capable of accepting the truth and judging the rightness or wrong of her actions with an open mind.
He sat on the edge of the talan throughout the rest of the afternoon and the following night finally facing what his ego had allowed him to ignore. Meren had managed to bypass, without even trying, every barrier he had erected against feminine blandishments thrown at him throughout the centuries. She had never seen him as ‘Glorfindel the balrog slayer’ or ‘Glorfindel the only elf to return to Middle Earth from the Halls of Mandos’ or even the ‘Seneschal of Imladris’, she had only seen him as her friend the elf that had rescued her in her time of pain and showed her kindness. Yet through it all she had never judged him and had been satisfied to recognize the limits he had set. She knew him better than he knew himself.
He angrily berated himself. As a warrior he prided himself on knowing the weakness and strengths of his enemies as well as that of his friends. Lives depended on his judgment and it was clear now he did not even know his own weakness and strengths much less all of his friends. He still had much to ponder but he knew at the very least he had to talk to her and ask her forgiveness for his selfishness and cruelty before she departed for the Gray Havens. He had the feeling that if he failed to convince her of his sincerity she would never agree to stay and he would face the rest of his life alone. That was not something he was willing to contemplate.
Elrond studied the strained face of Cyllthurin, Meren’s father as he stood before him. For the first time since the counselor had joined his staff, he was visibly shaken. Placing a hand on his shoulder Elrond guided him to a nearby chair and poured a glass of miruvor from the carafe on his desk. Handing it to him, the elf lord then settled down quietly in the chair across from him.
“Cyllthurin, there is no danger and no blame involved here. What has occurred is unusual and very rare but it had all worked out well in the end and your daughter is no longer afflicted with her ‘gift’. No harm has really been done.”
“My lord, the fact that my daughter has managed to touch your mind without your knowledge and driven Lord Glorfindel from the halls of Imladris can hardly be considered unharmful.” He took a swallow of his miruvor and then was silent for a short time. “We knew of her feelings for him but we believed it was merely a crush and that she had outgrown them. Neither my wife nor I had any idea that this...this ‘gift’ had developed or that she was using it in this manner.”
“I am well aware of that. I will admit that I was distressed at first because I could not determine what was really going on or what the implications could be but after consulting with Galadriel and gaining her insight I was satisfied with her explanation. After all who better understands the workings of an elleth’s mind then another elleth? Love is a very strong emotion and I fear Meren is without a doubt the bond mate of Glorfindel. His own feelings are far more involved with her I suspect then he has recognized. It must have been quite a shock to him when he realized the depth of her emotions and his own.”
“But for him to flee…?”
“Cyllthurin, He will return in due time. He has some serious thinking to do and some ghosts to lie. Returning to us as he did, he found it difficult to deal with personal relationships for some time. It was a long time before he allowed Erestor or myself to get close and even now he has few close trusted friends. He respects a number of his fellow elves but now keeps them at a distance. And unfortunately in the beginning when he began to open up to the possibility of a relationship with an ellyth, he found himself being pursued more as a prize to be won and displayed by the victor then as a treasured partner to share a life and love with. After that he withdrew behind his barriers and refused to allow any elleth to cross them.”
“I guess I must accept that, my lord, but it does not resolve this mess. I am about to loose my daughter who is insisting she must sail for the Undying Lands in order to protect Imladris and insure that Glorfindel can return without having to face someone he must both hate and fear for meddling in his mind and my wife is demanding we go with her. Meren is refusing to discuss anything and wanders about our rooms like lost soul and weeps at night when she thinks no one will hear her.”
“Then my lord Cyllthurin, she must be made to stay and face the mess she has created instead of running away and leaving it for the rest of us to deal with.” Glorfindel strode into the room. “My apologies, Elrond. I have acted like a stupid idiot and will not let my personal problems interfere with my duties again.”
He turned and faced Cyllthurin. “My lord, this was mostly of my making since I was afraid to deal with one lone ellyth whose only mistake was to put a very flawed elf up on a hero’s pedestal and love him. If you and your wife will allow it, I would like to talk to her and convince her we deserve the chance to explore our feelings for each other before she makes such a final step. I admit I never expected to find someone this side of Valinor with whom I would consider bonding. I had not had much success in the past. She is the first and I was shocked when I realized it. I cannot predict what success such an effort will bring, but I know I do not wish to spend the rest of my time here without knowing nor do I wish to wait until I complete my duties here and follow her to the Undying Lands before I can determine her feelings for the possibility of our joining.”
Cyllthurin stared at him startled at his words.
Elrond nodded in agreement. “It is a reasonable request, Cyllthurin, I believe they both need to take the risk.”
Cyllthurin sighed heavily, “It is not I whom you must convince my lords, but you have my agreement Glorfindel and I certainly hope you are successful.”
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.