26. Chapter 24
As the novelty of being whole again wore off, Maedhros began to consider his situation. His wounds were healing at a remarkable rate, and he grew stronger every day. Eventually, he would have to leave the safety of the healing wing and face everyday life. Námo had laid some conditions upon him, conditions that affected his station in life. No more would he ride into battle, train new recruits, or hunt orc. He let out a melancholy sigh; what was he to do? He had no talent in music beyond that of the average elf. He never put much effort into the study of anything that was not directly related to battle. The ancient elf closed his eyes.
Erestor stood at the door, unseen. He had come to see if Maedhros needed anything. His brow furrowed as he watched the shadow cross the warrior's face. Something was not right; Erestor debated his course of action. Squaring his shoulders and displaying his most pleasant smile, the dark-haired elf approached the bed.
"Forgive the intrusion, my lord," he said with a slight bow. Maedhros looked up, startled out of his musings.
With a smile that made Erestor's heart flutter, the auburn-haired elf motioned for the younger elf to approach. "I assure you, it is no interruption," he said softly.
Erestor took a seat in the bedside chair, uncertain of what to do now. Looking up, the young Noldo found a pair of intense mahogany eyes studying him. He could not help the slight blush that crept over his face. Maedhros looked away with a sigh. The noise did not go unnoticed.
"I do not mean to pry, but is something troubling you...? Shall I send for Lord Elrond...?"
Quickly masking the melancholy in his eyes, Maedhros replied, "It is nothing; there is no need to bother Elrond. I have taken up far too much of his time."
"I highly doubt that he sees it that way." Maedhros thought the young elf speaking was the most beautiful creature to grace Arda. "If not Lord Elrond, perhaps Lord Glorfindel? He has gone through it all before." Maedhros shook his head. What he really wanted was to get to know the dark advisor more; unfortunately, he had to keep reminding himself that this was his foster-son's heart's desire. Silence settled over the two elves. Just when it began to become oppressive, there was a knock at the door.
"Come," Maedhros called. The door opened to admit the golden lord mentioned just minutes before.
"I am sorry, I did not realize that you had company. I will return another time." Glorfindel reached for the door.
Erestor spoke up, "It is all right, I was just leaving." The raven-wing-haired elf brushed past Glorfindel. If Maedhros did not know any better he swore that Glorfindel was nervous.
Maedhros nodded to the chair that Erestor had vacated. Cautiously, the warrior took a seat. He had put off this meeting for as long as possible. Sooner or later, he would have to face this. The longer he put it off, the more butterflies swarmed in his stomach. Although Orophin insisted that he had nothing to worry about, theEldalacked such confidence. He cleared his throat and thought about what to say. Maedhros took pity on him and spoke up first.
"When you returned, did you feel a euphoria followed by the weight of realization? I have been so happy to be here that for the last few days I have been able to avoid thinking about the future."
Glorfindel nodded. "Námo asked me to help you with the adjustment. I fear I have been remiss." The Gondolian lord bowed his head. With some reserve, he continued, "I will answer any questions you have. Feel free to send for me at anytime. The people of this valley are wonderful; however they cannot know what you and I feel. Once you are stronger, I will begin familiarizing you with Imladris, her defenses and warriors. It will be Elrond's decision when he feels you will be ready to join patrols and eventually lead." Glorfindel tried his best to lock out the hurt he felt. He spoke to a spot over Maedhros' bed; he could not look the great prince in the eye. For this reason he missed the dejected slumping of his companion's shoulders.
"That will not be necessary," Maedhros said softly. "I will not need to be acclimated with the defensives and the warriors." Glorfindel looked up at this. Was Maedhros really so arrogant as to think he could do it himself? Glorfindel let out an involuntary snort. The resting warrior took no notice and continued. "Námo has a few *rules* I had to agree to before he would let me return to Arda." Glorfindel gave a silent request to continue. Now it was Maedhros' turn to stare into space, lost in his narrative. "I must be on the side of good, however, I cannot wield a weapon that has a point or sharp edge save the small knife I had with me and a staff." Here he gave a dark chuckle, "I cannot be a warrior…what am I to do? I was so happy to get a second chance that I never really thought about the implications!" Maedhros rested his head back against the headboard and closed his eyes. "What am I to do Lord Glorfindel? All I have ever known were the ways of a warrior. I do not have my brother's gift of music. I feel so lost. What good am I to anyone if I cannot do what I am best at?"
Glorfindel had the grace to feel a bit guilty for not coming to the warrior sooner. Obviously, he was troubled and needed someone to guide him. Taking all the Maedhros said to mind, he began to formulate a plan. Looking intently at the burgundy haired elf, he voiced his thoughts.
"I am sorry I did not seek you out sooner. With everyone fussing over you, I figured one more elf might push you over the edge." Glorfindel felt no need to tell the ancient elf his initial unfounded fears. "Perhaps together we can figure out a plan that fits Námo's conditions."
Opening his eyes, Maedhros turned his head to the now smirking captain of the guard. "I am not sure I follow."
"Well," Glorfindel began with a twinkle in his eye, "Namo has a plan for you. You…*we* just have to put the pieces together. I am certain that the Valar do not wish to make life un-enjoyable." Leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, the golden-haired elf continued. "Was there anything else that you were told?"
Feeling his spirits lift, Maedhros smiled and replied, "I also cannot be part of a planning or participating in a battle. Oh, and in order to sail West, I must give and find unconditional love." Here the former warrior looked to Glorfindel. "I would be in your debt if you could help me."
"I will help you." Glorfindel felt like himself for the first time in three days. He had a feeling that he and Maedhros would become close friends. It was nice to have someone else around, especially since everyone will be in awe of the handsome, re-born Son of Feanor.
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