4. The Light of Anor
Long they lay afterwards, speaking not a word. Uglúk with his face buried in the Elf’s sweat-dampened hair, drawing in the sweet musky fragrance, savouring every breath, an arm wrapped protectively around his lover’s chest. And lying thus, limbs in repose, body sated, Elrond’s mind began to wander in waking dreams, as is the way of Elves, and there came to him an ancient song. Softly, softly he began to sing, his rich voice echoing against the rock, and resonating through his body. Of the Quendi, the first Elves and their home by the starlit water. Of their joy in life, and in the new world. Then how nameless fears crept in upon them, and shadows stalked those who dared to venture abroad. Of the Dark Hunter who captured the unwary, carrying them off to the deep pits of Utumno. From whence no Elves returned, but only rumours of torment and adulteration.
When the song was finished, he raised himself up and turned to gaze upon his companion, and the Uruk could see that his face was wet with the shedding of many tears.
“Ah” he murmured, lifting a rough finger to brush them away, “not for me, my beautiful one.” Gazing deep into those grey eyes, he lowered his unlovely lips to gently kiss away their sorrow. “Pity me not. It is too late now, for we cannot change the past, and the future holds no place for one such as I.”
Elrond’s face was anguished. “Where will you go?”
“To the East. I know not how many years I may have, but it is my fate to spend them in wandering.”
“So much pain,” the Elf’s voice was a strangled whisper, “so much loneliness.”
“But not so much as there was.” The Uruk traced again the exquisite features, his eyes drinking in every lovely detail. “I have now something of beauty, one bright memory to treasure, one light to comfort my darkness.” As he spoke the first shafts of the morning sun broke their way into the gloom of the cave, and he rose to his feet, gently drawing the other after him.
“Alas!” cried Elrond, “Never was I so dismayed to see the light of Anor, for I know the dawn will never come upon us together again.”
For many minutes they stood, the fair and the dark, two sons of Ilùvatar, the perfect and the misbegotten, staring long into the eyes of the other and many thoughts passed unspoken between them. Then silently, each bent about his own tasks of preparation.
Elrond dressed quickly, and gathered together his few items, having besides sword and cloak, only his pouch of healing medicines. He stood at the mouth of the cave looking out at the sunlit forest, his heart heavy. A glint of reflected light caught his eye, and with a wisp of a laugh he ran lightly over to retrieve Uglúk’s sabre from the wet grass.
He returned to find his companion ready to leave. The powerful body once more arrayed in its dark and dreadful armour. Around one thigh, the shining cloth of Elrond’s bandage the only brightness. The Elf-lord knelt to remove the dressing and examine the wound, amazed to find it already closed tightly.
“Uruks are indeed made of strong stuff.”
A gentle laugh rumbled, and a strong hand touched his hair, “I had a good healer.”
Elrond stood, and placed Uglúk’s sword into his hands. The Orc sheathed it, then turned for the last time to the Elf, taking that fair face gently in his powerful hands, and reaching his mouth for a final, lingering, bitter-sweet kiss.
“Farewell, my brother,” he whispered, then he turned and with a great bound was off into the forest at a run. And from the trees where the sound of his heavy feet retreated, a terrible roar of anguish shook the forest.
Looking after him, Elrond crushed the bandage, dark with old blood, fiercely in his fist, his jaw set hard. Then giving a trembling sigh, he tucked the stained cloth inside his tunic, and taking up his cloak and sword, he set his feet on the path for home – at once both more empty and more complete than when he had set out.
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.