5. 4. Beams and Braids
Prompt: Braiding of hair (thanks to Ebbingnight)
He was frustrated. He hurt and he was embarrassed. Timber! A simple piece of timber and he was as helpless as a kitten. Glorfindel growled at his reflection…
He had been searching for a young stallion that broke out of its stall early this morning. He found the beast munching on old hay in an ancient paddock from the time Imladris was first founded. The building has been built in haste and intended only as a temporary shelter; it should have been brought down centuries ago. The attempts to rope the horse caused it to buck. Glorfindel managed to dodge the deadly hooves, which hit a support beam with a thundering crack. The horse bolted from the small building, but the warrior was not so lucky and was caught in the shoulder by a heavy cross bream. The freak accident left him pinned to the floor, the beam firmly crushing his right shoulder. After the shock wore off and with a strength born of Valinor, the Vanya managed to free himself from the massive piece of wood.
Staggering from the ruins, Glorfindel mounted his horse and made his way back to the main house, forgetting the stallion for the moment. Putting on the best “happy, everything is fine” face, he made his way to his chambers. He asked a passing elleth to fetch a healer, discretely. He assured her he was fine, but needed a minor injury tended and he did not want to bother Lord Elrond on his begetting day. Entering his chamber, Glorfindel grimaced as he pulled his shirt off, sending white-hot shards of pain through the injured shoulder. He sat on the edge of his bed and waited for the healer. A gentle knock alerted him and he all but pulled the your healer into his chamber.
“Hir nin, you have been injured?” the healer asked with disbelief coloring his voice. Glorfindel sighed and retold his story.
“It is not broken, but dislocated and badly bruised. It should heal quickly,” the healer stated as a pop and a dwarven curse filled the room, “unfortunately, I must guarantee you do not move the joint until it can heal. If you will promise to wear a sling for the next two days, I will not bind the shoulder. If, however, I see you using that arm for anything I will bind it but good for the next two weeks.”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow but the healer merely countered the action as if to say, ‘just watch me.”
“Very well, I will abide by your rules. The arm will be in a sling and I will not use it for two days.”
“If you are in pain I can leave…”
Glorfindel cut the healer short. “The pain is not so bad so unless you have a tonic for a bruised ego, there nothing else I require.” The healer gave a knowing smile and patted the warrior on his good shoulder leaving as quietly as he had come.
The sling was plain, dull, boring, and not what he wanted to be seen wearing at Elrond’s begetting day feast. Tossing it on the bed next to his dress robes, the Elda moved to the bathing chambers. He was running late so it would have to be a quick bath. Stepping into the warm water, the warrior sighed and sunk beneath the surface. The extent of his injury became clear when he raised his arms to wash his hair. An involuntary gasp left his ruby lips as pain coursed through his shoulder. After an awkward washing, Glorfindel left the water to struggle with the equally difficult task of drying off. Finally immerging from the bathroom, the re-made elf looked at his dress robes and again swore. Ignoring that dilemma for the moment, he sat down at his mirror. Picking up his comb, he realized there was no way he could comb his unruly mane with his injured arm and while he could wield a sword with either hand, a comb was completely different. He sighed and let his head drop to the dressing table. Evening was fast approaching and he was stuck…completely and utterly stuck, wrapped in a towel with dripping locks that were everywhere and no hope in sight. What was he to do?
…Glorfindel growled at his reflection. Perhaps he should just let his hair hang loose and choose simple robes that did not require buttoning (of course, he could not pull them over his head either). He growled again. That was not what he wanted to do! He had wanted to look his best; wanted Erestor--
Erestor! The raven-haired elf and dear friend popped to mind as if Irmo himself had whispered the name. Perhaps Erestor would help him! But Erestor would be busy getting things ready for the feast and their little birthday surprise. Surely he would be getting ready himself. He would not have time to help Glorfindel; would he? Another minute passed. Then pushing down his growing embarrassment, Glorfindel picked up his comb, draped his dress robes over his injured arm (for that was the most it could do), grabbed the offending sling and left his chamber.
He stood outside the Chief Counselor of Imladris’ rooms. He knocked gently as his pulse quickened. What would Erestor think to find Glorfindel in such a disheveled state?
“By the stars Glorfindel!” the raven-haired elf gasped as he opened the door seeing the bare-chested, towel-wrapped elf in the hall. “What…” he was at a loss of words.
“Erestor, please, mellon nin, I need your assistance.” There was a hint of desperation in the tall elf’s words. Erestor moved aside, silently granting entrance. Glorfindel hurried in. “I am sorry to bother you, I know you are very busy, but I have a problem. I injured my shoulder and find myself unable to do even the simplest tasks.” He dropped his robes on a nearby chair before dropping into another. He looked up pleadingly. “I cannot even comb my hair, let alone braid it. I would just tie it back if I could.”
Erestor looked at the one elf in all Arda that made his heart flutter. The majestic being looked so forlorn. The counselor would do anything to help Glorfindel, anything to see a smile grace the fair features. Moving to his friend’s side he spoke, “Come to the fire and I will comb that mane of yours and get it braided.”
“That is not necessary Erestor. If you can just get it tied…”
“Nonsense mellon nin,” the Counselor interrupted, “We will get it done right. There is time yet before the feast. Do not worry.” With that, he led his charge to the rug near the fire and sitting on a low stool, Erestor began to gently comb the thick golden tresses.
Glorfindel closed his eyes at the sensation; it had been literally a lifetime since anyone did this for him. Erestor’s touch was gentle; yet firm enough to work through the tangles. A sigh escaped his lips and he let his head fall forward; unfortunately that pulled the shoulder and the sigh quickly turned to a grasp.
Erestor stilled his actions and quickly apologized, “I am sorry I did not mean…”
“Peace, mellon nin, ‘twas not you. Your touch is divine and lulled me nearly to sleep. But you waste too much time on me. It is fine,” Glorfindel protested.
The raven-haired elf ran his fingers through the silken mass, shivering at the feel of liquid gold flowing across his delicate fingertips. This was the most intimate he had been with Glorfindel and it was enough to awaken the fantasies lurking just beyond his rational mind. Fearing his awakening body would betray him, he stood and moved to the bathroom. “Rest there and let the fire dry your hair a bit. I will bathe and then we will finish getting ready.” The councilor vanished from sight.
The re-made warrior sighed again. That was the most wonderful sensation. Long had he desired more intimate contact with the beautiful advisor; too bad it was nothing more than a friend helping another with a difficult problem. ‘It is the most you will get,’ a little voice whispered, ‘enjoy it now.’
Erestor did not dally in the bath this night. He needed to get back to Glorfindel. The warrior seemed so lost, almost uncertain. While bathing, Erestor devised a little plan that he hoped would lift the warrior’s mood. Emerging from the bathroom garbed in a soft robe, Erestor returned to the fireside. Glorfindel had to turn from the waist to see his friend and his breath hitched. Skin glowing fresh and clean, raven hair hanging like rivers ink over the light robe, just a hint of flesh showing at the collar and lean calves bared to his cerulean eyes caused Glorfindel to flush. He turned back to the fire quickly, hoping the hunger had gone unnoticed. And, it had for Erestor refused to see that so wonderful an elf would desire him.
Erestor quickly combed the golden locks once more before setting to work on the braids. His hands moved swiftly though Glorfindel could barely feel them. Never once did it pull, ever gentle and the warrior again relaxed into his surroundings. Erestor chatted idly with his friend, keeping the mood light. When at last he sat back to admire his work; he hoped he did them right. And, that Glorfindel would like them.
“Come, let us get you dressed.” The Chief Advisor said as he stood and offered a hand to Glorfindel. The warrior took it and stood gracefully. For one brief moment Erestor hesitated, looking at their joined hands.
“Erestor…” Glorfindel all but whispered.
The advisor quickly moved to pickup Glorfindel’s robes. He looked at the sling made of bland white linen. “We should be able to do this with minimal pain if we work together.” He beckoned his friend over. The warrior complied. After a few attempts, it was decided that there was no way Glorfindel’s under-robe would go on and worse off later with out extreme pain. Instead, Erestor brought forth a lovely shirt with frog clasps that had been an ill fitting gift; it fit Glorfindel well and would take the place of his under garment. Next cam the beautiful midnight blue dress robe and the golden sash, complete with a beautiful Gondolien dagger. Erestor looked at the elf lord in awe. Glorfindel was beyond beautiful…he was resplendent!
“Erestor…” the warrior began again. And again he was cut off.
“That sling will not do,” Erestor said while rummaging through a drawer. “Ah, this should work.” He produced a beautiful light blue sash, embroidered with, ironically, small golden flowers. He attached the makeshift sling and helped Glorfindel get settled. “Perfect,” Erestor announced.
Glorfindel looked down at his appearance and then scanned the room. “Mirror?” he inquired.
Erestor blushed. “I am afraid I do not have one. I never felt the need.” The re-made warrior looked at his closest friend in a new light. Erestor always looks meticulous, radiant even and he was known for his sense of style—all done with out mirrors. Glorfindel felt his heart melt; he had to find away to connect with Erestor on a deeper level, and intimate level.
Realizing that Erestor had begun to tend to his own hair, Glorfindel spoke up apologetically, “I wish I could return the favor, mellon nin. Perhaps another time?”
Erestor smiled shyly. “Another time,” he replied, a beautiful blush coloring his cheeks. Erestor stepped back into the bathroom and soon immerged.
Glorfindel forgot to breathe as the raven-haired elf emerged dressed in a black dress robe trimmed in silver and cinched closed at the waist with a stunning silver clasp. The delicate silver gray under-robe, visible down the front, was a change from the solid work robes Erestor usually wore. His hair was simply pulled back at the temples and held by a jeweled clip. Never had Glorfindel seen a more stunning elf and he suddenly did not want to share this vision with anyone else. Unfortunately it was late and they had a begetting celebration to attend.
The pair left Erestor’s chambers and headed to the Great Hall. The advisor excused himself just before entering, as he wanted to check with the kitchens one last time. Glorfindel thanked his friend again and proceeded into the Hall. As he entered, he passed a decorative mirror. He gasped as he took in the reflection. Staring back at him with his own blue eyes was the image of a Lord long past…Glorfindel, Lord of the House of the Golden Flower, the dress robes and dagger and his braids--done just as they had been by his father a lifetime before.
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