by Emma Keigh

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Gandalf/Celeborn

Summary: The Lord of Lothlórien pines for one who has fallen.

Warning: This story contains explicit scenes of sex between consenting adult males of various species. If you are under age or don't care for this, LEAVE NOW. Beta-read by Nikki Memmott. Thanks, merci beaucoup, tapadh leibh, gracias, danke, grazie, spazebo, arigato, obrigado

Website: http://www.ithilas.com/chezemma

Disclaimer: The characters and melieux from The Lord of the Rings are the property of the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and New Line Cinema (AOL). I only play with them from time to time for my own amusement and without compensation. No harm; no foul; no profit. Anything or anyone new, however, is mine (left-overs again!).


The Lord and Lady of Lothlórien bid the travelers farewell, and returned silently to their high-perched talan. A full cycle of the moon had passed while the Fellowship rested in the Golden Wood, recovering both physically and emotionally from their so-far perilous journey. Now Celeborn could let loose his grief, held in check since hearing of the fall of Gandalf. Of the company, only Legolas was privy to the relationship between the Istar and the Elf Lord, and this was not the time to share such personal details.

Tears were not the way Elfkind showed grief, and the woods were filled with the terrible, beautiful lament Celeborn keened for his lost lover. He sang for hours, until his voice could be heard no more. Galadriel guided him blindly to his bed, kissed his forehead affectionately. She knew it might be their last time together east of the Undying Lands. Only Celeborn's faithful squire stayed at his side, saddened himself to be watching his master fade away. The youth brought Celeborn's favorite foods, trying to tempt the Elf-lord back to full life, but though he occasionally nibbled at the proffered morsels, more often than not he turned his face away, no more than a sigh escaping his lips.

Though he had never watched a fading before, the elfling knew there was not much time left for Celeborn in Middle-earth. Though Elves were immortal, succumbing to neither age nor infirmity, they could be slain, and they could -and did - die from grief. The very life force of one of the most powerful beings in all of Middle-earth was slipping away before the youngster's eyes.

Celeborn was nearly gone, his white hair a dull grey, his silver-blue eyes clouded and dry. Breath barely stirred his chest, and the young valet now kept constant hold of his hand, the faint pulse in the now-frail wrist the only sign the Elf-lord's fea had not yet escaped. The elfling was exhausted, as he didn't dare rest his own mind or body lest Celeborn slip even farther away. He sat at his lord's bedside, holding Celeborn's hand in his own, his head resting on their joined hands when a commotion on the level below startled him to full wakefulness.

He recognized the voice of the Lady, though he'd never heard it raised so shrilly, but the other, an obviously masculine voice, was strange to him.

Galadriel stepped into the room, her robes of office extending her slender form to block the way. Roughly a stranger pushed by her, a man, the elfling thought at first, by the look of him, older than any mortal he'd ever seen. His hair hung long and white past his shoulders, and his face was hidden behind a snowy beard. He wore white garments as well, and carried a white staff. The staff marked him as a wizard, and the youngster's eyes widened to see one of the legendary Istari.

Once past Galadriel, he strode to Celeborn's bedside without a glance to his faithful attendant. Dropping his staff so it clattered to the floor, he sat on the bed's edge and placed both hands on Celeborn's ashen face.

"Come back, my love," the newcomer whispered. "Do not leave me now, when I have returned from death itself."

The Elf-lord's chest heaved with his first deep breath in days. His eyes blinked, clearing his vision, and the first sight he beheld was the face of his lover - somewhat altered, now that his hair and beard were white rather than grey, but it was unmistakably Gandalf. Another deep breath and Celeborn tried to speak but only whispered a single word before the once-dead wizard captured his pale lips with a kiss.

The young valet felt gentle hands on his shoulders, and he stood at their direction. It was Galadriel who drew him away from Celeborn's bed, his duties complete.

Gandalf's kiss was life itself to the Elf-lord, color coming back into his fair skin and pale hair.

"They said you fell," Celeborn whispered weakly when the wizard released him from the kiss. "I could not feel you."

The wizard covered Celeborn's face with soft, tender kisses. "I know," he apologized. "But I came back.

"Back to me."

Gandalf closed his eyes as he nodded, confident this small lie would not besmirch his soul. He knew Celeborn's presence in the coming times was necessary for the survival of Middle-earth, and anything he did to insure the Elf-lord's continued health could be seen as part of his mission. Besides, he truly loved the ancient Elf and would never consciously bring him pain of any kind.

Gandalf's return revitalized Celeborn, and the lovers were soon in each other's arms, their kisses hungry and passionate. The wizard shifted position to lie alongside the Elf-lord, the bedclothes and their garments unceremoniously discarded - nay, thrown to the floor - allowing no impediment between their bodies. Words were not necessary between them as their mutual caressing and fondling lit fires of passion in them both. They shifted positions as their ardor grew, and hungry mouths kissed and suckled on straining erections while questing fingers sent them on a spiraling path to a shared climax. Once sated, at least for a time, they snuggled together in the timelessness of the Lothlórien.

But even in the Golden Wood, dawn comes in its own time, and the brightening sky told both the lovers their time together was short. They kissed once more, so deeply they breathed each other's breath, then tore themselves apart to dress before descending to the less private levels of the treetop residence.

Galadriel greeted Gandalf very differently in the morning light, thanking him for bringing Celeborn back among them. She clung to Celeborn's arm, silently reminding the Istar of her prior claim on the Elf-lord's affections. Passively he stood at her side, though his silvery eyes were trained on the wizard.

"I know you have work yet to do, Mithrandir," Celeborn pronounced. "Let it not be said that the Elves of Lothlórien impeded your mission." He gave orders to outfit and provision the wizard, and a supply of lembas and a grey cloak identical to those the Fellowship now wore were brought.

Gandalf pressed his hand over his heart and inclined his head in the traditional Elven thanks and farewell, then turned to leave.

"Hold, wizard," Galadriel spoke in a whisper. She left Celeborn's side and stepped to Gandalf's, placing her slender hands on his shoulders, looking deeply into his eyes. "I should not doubt the intentions of a ring-bearer," she said. "Nor should I be jealous of the affections you share with

Celeborn." She bowed her head. "Forgive me."

Silently Gandalf nodded, and lifted the Elf-queen's chin with the touch of a finger. The red jewel of Narya gleamed on his hand, visible only to Galadriel, the bearer of Nenya, and himself. "There is much before me I cannot see," he admitted. "We must all be strong."

The Lady of the Golden Wood kissed the wizard's forehead in blessing, then turned and left the lovers alone. They joined hands, looking deeply into each other's eyes. Still they needed no words, and with a single, chaste kiss, they parted. The wizard set off to rejoin the companions of the Ring

Bearer, and the Lord of Lothlórien stood at the edge of the talan watching as he went.