It was a very solemn Erestor who arrived at the stables that afternoon. He was stunned at all that had transpired this morning.
"If you are not careful, you might find yourself stepping in some nasty stuff."
Erestor looked about and spotted the gypsy elf in of the stables. "You look troubled, meldir."
"It is nothing Gildor: let us just be off." Erestor led a bay mare into the courtyard. He so needed this ride. Gildor followed close behind, not at all convinced that it was 'nothing'.
"Where to?" the blond asked, "River or hills?"
"Guess you will just have to keep up to figure that out!" Erestor shouted as he dug his heels into his horse's flank. Without glancing back and with a gleeful smile, the advisor bolted toward the tree line. Shaking his head in disbelief, Gildor leapt on his stallion as the beast surged forward. Neither of them noticed the captain of Imladris' guard in the box stall at the back of the stable. Glorfindel rested his head against Asfloth's back.
"I am such a fool." He sighed dejectedly.
The great horse nickered and pushed his nose against the unhappy warrior. The more Glorfindel thought about the whole thing, the angrier he got. He was angry with Erestor for being…well, just Erestor. He was mad at Gildor because he was with Erestor. He was upset with Ecthelion for making him think about all of this. He was even miffed at Lindir, although he really did not know why. But the truth was, he was angry with himself the most. Angry for being so dense! Angry for not being brave; for not seeing the truth, for…oh, just for everything. Elrond returned in two days. The golden lord decided to speak with him about all this. Elrond was wise beyond his years. Glorfindel just hoped that he was not too late in figuring all this out. He would give his sword arm to be a tree and hear what Gildor felt was so dang important.
Patting his trusted mount, he gave the horse the apple he had swiped from the kitchens. Carefully closing the stall door, Glorfindel headed for the Minstrels' Guild. He might have to wait for some wisdom, but he could burn off some aggression. That is, if he could pull Thel away from Lindir.
The horses picked their way carefully up the slope and through the dense forest. After about an hour, the slope leveled and the trees thinned. The two riders emerged onto a plateau that offered the most breath-taking view of the Brunin that Gildor had ever seen. Dismounting, he removed what little tackle he used and let the grateful animal lose. His dark companion followed suit. Walking closed to the edge of the plateau, Erestor raised his head to Anor and smiled.
"I come here to think." He said. "It affords me the privacy to rant and rave, or talk to myself, or to vent when council becomes trying."
Gildor chuckled at the image of a ranting Erestor in the middle of a field. Settling down in the middle of the small glade, he patted the grass. "Come, melon nín, there is something I must say to you."
Erestor turned to face his long-time friend. Arching an eyebrow (a technique he taught to Elrond), he strode over and dropped to the ground with all the grace of a rock. "So?"
"Well," the blond began, "what was this important discussion with Ecthelion?"
Looking extremely suspicious, the dark elf asked, "Why? Are you jealous?" He smirked at the rolling of Gildor's eyes.
"Maybe." Both laughed. "Seriously, what did he do to warrant your ire?"
"Nothing?" The blond cocked his head and stared at the advisor. "In all the centuries I have known you, I never saw you angered by nothing. Out with it."
The normally confident advisor pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them. Resting his chin on his knees, he began to speak. "I was concerned about the well-being of two of my closest friends."
"Well, I was wrong, and after totally embarrassing myself in my fury, Ecthelion put me in my place."
A look of disbelief crossed Gildor's face. "He put you in your place? Erestor, no one puts you in your place!"
"I know, I know!" After a brief pause, Erestor looked at his friend with suspicion again, "Wait, you said you needed to talk to me. Why are we talking about this morning's folly? What is it you wish to speak of?"
Gildor chucked, "You."
"You and your issues with Glorfindel."
Erestor 'humphed' with indignity. "I do not have issue with him."
"Yes, you do."
"Stop sounding like an elfling!"
"I will when you stop acting like one, Erestor."
Gildor's statement should have been met with resistance, however the raven-haired elf fell silent before answering. "I am guessing that you will now tell me how it is that I am acting like an elfling."
"Yes, I will."
Glorfindel entered the building quietly. He did not want to disturb the creative energy flowing in the air. If he had not wanted to be a warrior, Glorfindel fancied himself as a bard. Back then, of course, guilds had not existed. Imladris' Guild was the best there was and many came here to study. Hearing a dreadful sound, he ascended the steps to the second level. There he found his friend trying desperately to tame a rebellious harp, Lindir all the while trying to keep a straight face.
"Better." Lindir stated, "I believe a small incentive is in order." Before Glorfindel had to witness anything embarrassing, he let his presence be known with the ever-popular cough. Both musicians looked up in surprise.
"Fin, it's good to see you. I was wondering where you went off to," Ecthelion said.
The blond elf laughed. "No you were not. You were wondering how to get a kiss from your instructor." Lindir blushed at this, and Ecthelion laughed.
"True, but I was worried. Are you all right?"
"I do not suppose I could steal you a way for a sparing match? I know you will be able to handle what I need to vent."
Ecthelion looked to Lindir. "Do you mind?"
With a huge smile, the minstrel quickly nodded. "Of course, keep him as long as you need him."
With a bow, Glorfindel started down the steps, wanting to give the lovers a chance for a sappy good bye. He could not contain his laughter when he caught the end of their conversation.
"Do not think this means you get out of your lesson. I will find you when I am finished. I then want that kiss I did not get…" here he raised his voice, "since a certain blond has lousy timing." Skipping down the steps, the Lord of the Fountain caught up to his friend.
"Want to talk?" Ecthelion already knew the answer. Glorfindel did not talk until he vented. It was going to be a long afternoon.
Erestor looked expectantly at Gildor. "Well?…"
"Well, nothing. When are you going to tell him that you want his company for more than a chess game?"
"What is this?" The councilor exclaimed, "Gang up on the Chief Advisor day?"
Not hiding his amusement Gildor asked, "Someone else telling you the same thing? A certain dark haired, handsome, now unavailable elf lord?" Erestor said nothing, just stared ahead. "Erestor?"
"He may have mentioned that he and Fin were not and never will be lovers. And he may have hinted that my ill-temper was the result of some unaddressed feelings."
"All right. You have two wonderful elf lords telling you the same thing and I am certain that if Elrond were here, he would say the same." The gypsy rested his hand on Erestor's shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze. "You have no reason to keep him at bay. There is no lover waiting for him in Valinor. There is no one here, although I know many have tried to gain his favor. Do you realize how many ellyn and ellyth learned to play chess, just in the hopes of gaining his attention?"
Erestor looked up with hope in his eyes. "So, can you guarantee me that he returns my feeling, IF I feel something for him?"
"No. But when has uncertainty stopped you in the past?
"Every time my heart is involved."
Putting his arm around the advisor and guiding the dark head to his shoulder, the Vanya sighed. "I hate to see you so alone when it might not be necessary. Please think about opening up to him."
"What if my less than pleasant behavior of late has pushed him beyond my reach?"
"Then he did not hold true feelings for you. Love is about understanding, Erestor; not about sex." With a wink he continued, "And if you tell anyone I said that I will deny it vehemently."
Wiping away tears he had not known he shed, Erestor could not help but chuckle at his friend. "You always know how to make it better."
Standing up, Gildor brushed off the grass clinging to his leggings and offered Erestor a hand. Erestor looked up, "time to go?"
"Time to go." The other elf answered.
With a heavy sigh, the councilor took the offered hand and stood. A whistle brought their steeds to them. Within minutes, they were mounted and heading home. Just before they entered the forest, Erestor stopped. Gildor came up next to him. "Thank you." He said quietly.
"He is driving me crazy!"
"Fin, talk…" *whoosh* "…to him."
Glorfindel dropped his arm and looked at his now panting friend. "And say what? Erestor, do you have feelings for me, because if you do then I think I have feelings for you?" Ecthelion took that moment to lung. Unfortunately, the gold elf easily blocked the blow. They continued to parry in silence.
Catching his breath momentarily, Ecthelion decided to really get a beating. "You know, I can not believe you are so chicken."
"He is a little advisor. Are you telling me he is too much of…"
Glorfindel renewed harsh assault on his partner. "I…"
Both doubled over, attempting to catch their breath. They had been going at it for the best part of the afternoon and both had their share of cuts and bruises.
Leaving the training circle, Ecthelion leaned heavily on the fence. "So you do have feelings for him."
Coming beside him and looking to the horizon, Glorfindel gave a timid answer. "I think I do. I just do not want to mess up this friendship."
"Are you certain that is will 'mess things up'?"
Glorfindel looked at his friend and in an unguarded moment let his fear show. "No, but you are right; I am chicken. I just do not know how strong my feelings are…and I do not want to lead him to believe that there is more…"
"FIN! Listen to yourself. You are working yourself up over something that has not happened." Resting a hand on each shoulder, Ecthelion turned a hesitant elf towards him. Forcing eye contact, he offered the only support he could. "Start by just talking to him; he might surprise you. We spoke this morning and I think he…"
"GET A HEALER!" The shout came from beyond the main gate.
"I need a healer, NOW!" Mayhem broke out in the courtyard as a horse immerged from a cloud of dust.
Both warriors ran, but before reaching the yard, Glorfindel stopped cold.
Gildor and Erestor had returned. Erestor, however, was not on his horse and was not conscious. Blood clung to his face and his arm. Feeling a wave of nausea wash over him, the Lord of the Golden Flower turned to his left and sped towards the healing house to see that a room and the healers were ready to tend to his friend.
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.