The Beating of our Two Hearts

by River-Woman

Summary: Two long time lovers re-discover their passion for each other.

Disclaimer: The characters belong solely to the Tolkien Estate, I merely play with them, and I always put them back afterwards. I write for fun, there is no profit in this, believe me.

Warnings: Fluff ;o)

Archiving: Elrondslash; others please ask permission.

Feedback: Would love it.

Author's note: With grateful thanks to Trinity for the beta - and to Nefertiti for the encouragement - all other mistakes are mine. Translations are at the end of the chapter. Italics denote speaking mind to mind.

Chapter 3

If you're lost you can look and you will find me,
Time after time.
If you fall I will catch you, I'll be waiting
Time after time.
From "Time after Time" by Eva Cassidy.

The snows of winter lay thick upon the gardens and houses of Imladris. Elrond was awake and already seated at his desk. He had spent another sleepless night, so he had wandered under the stars and moon. Imladris was still safe, but the threat of Saruman and Sauron grew daily. He knew it would not be long before the enemy from Dol Guldur and the Misty Mountains threatened the peace of his realm.

He was reading a book of poems when he sent his thoughts out to seek his beloved Mithrandír. They spoke infrequently across their mind link, aware at all times that the enemy may also hear. Usually an endearment or sometimes, a simple caress was all they used, but it was enough to remind each other of their love.

He stood abruptly, knocking over his chair. His mind was filled with darkness. Then a swirling fire engulfed him. He swung around, trying to still the images he could see in his mind, but they would not go away. He fell against his desk, sending papers, inks and pens tumbling to the floor as he spun around with the scene inside his mind. Sinking to his knees, he bowed his head.

Elrond. Beloved. The voice called.

'Melandya-nin,' he called back.

But all was darkness.

Elrond slumped to the floor, gasping for breath.

'Mithdrandír. Where are you?'he called again. But a black silence engulfed his mind.

'Aiiiii. No!' he shouted out loud.

His mind was empty and cold.

'My Lord?'

He looked up into the face of his old friend, Glorfindel.

'Elrond? Are you unwell?' He reached down and laid his hands on Elrond's shoulders, he could feel the trembling.

'He is gone.'

Glorfindel held his oldest friend against him.

'Who has gone?'

'Mithrandír,' the reply was almost inaudible. 'Gone into darkness.'

'How do you know this?'

'A vision. A vision that has come to pass.'

Lord Glorfindel held the Lord of Imladris and stroked his head to ease the trembling in his limbs. He was one of the few in Elrond's confidence who knew the true depth of feeling that existed between his Lord and the Grey Istar. Since the new centuries of the Third Age, they had loved each other. In the millennia since then, that love had grown into a passion, a passion that they had shared on that night before the Council. A passion that none in the household could now deny from the shouts that had emanated from the Lord's rooms that night.

But this, this loss could be devastating to Imladris. If the Lord fell into despondency and grief, how then would the realm defend its borders? The daily threat of attack was ever present; orcs were growing bolder and skirmishes were developing into running battles. If Lord Elrond was unable to coordinate and inspire his people, what would happen?

'Elrond? Lord? Listen to me.'

Elrond made no sign that he heard.

'You cannot allow yourself the luxury of grief now. We are under threat from the orc pits of Moria and you need your wits now more than ever. I will not let you slip into the morass of grief. Mandos will not claim you, not in this way.'

His words went unheeded. Elrond clutched at him, feeling his heart break and his mind fall into a dark abyss of sorrow. How could he carry on? How can he live when the very purpose of his living had been torn from him? He closed his eyes and slowed his breathing.

'Help me to my bed, Glorfindel.'

'Aye, Elrond. Rest now that later you may find strength to continue.' He stood, pulling his friend with him and helped him to his bed.

Elrond lay down and closed his eyes again.

'I will come to you later. Rest now.'

Elrond heard the soft footfalls grow fainter until there was silence in the room.

Rest? Yes, he wanted to rest. He wanted to rest forever.

He slowed his heart beat.

His heart was broken. His heart was sundered from his breast.

His breathing slowed.

'Mithrandír? Did I not counsel you to keep yourself safe? Did you not promise me to come back to me?'

His eyes opened as he slowed his heart yet again.

He was drifting, floating on a dark cloud. He called his beloved's name.

'Olorin. Mithrandír. Gandalf. Stormcrow. Grey Pilgrim'. But none headed his cry.

His breathing slowed.

His grey eyes were now opaque, dark and lifeless.

This was the only thing left.

He chose to follow his love.

To choose the time of his own death.

As a Maia, Mithrandír would be welcomed into the Halls of Mandos. Now he wanted nothing more than to follow his lover so that they arrived at the Gates together.

He slowed his heartbeat.

Slowed his breathing.

Coldness slipped through his body.

Arwen had heard the shout and was running towards her father rooms. Lord Glorfindel walked towards her.

'Lord, what is wrong?'

'Arwen.' He faltered. 'Arwen. Mithrandír has fallen. He is gone and your father's grief will be without limit.'

'No! No.' she cried. 'I will go to him, comfort him. He cannot let go now, too much rests with him. Come Glorfindel, hurry. We have to stop him.' She ran ahead.

Glorfindel followed, confused as to why Arwen was so concerned for her father. Elrond wanted to rest, a private time in which to grieve.


He heard the scream and ran towards its source.

In the Lord's bedroom, he saw Arwen shaking the apparently lifeless body of her father.

'Ada, no. Ada? Do not go like this.'

Glorfindel was dumbstruck. Surely Elrond had not chosen his death? He looked at his friend. The skin was pale and damp, a pallid sheen upon it. He watched for the rise in the chest, waiting for the drawing of a breath. None came. He pushed Arwen aside.

'Elrond, no. This cannot be.' He shook the near lifeless form. 'Arwen, bring the ring to me.'

'But ...'

'ARWEN. BRING THE RING TO ME, NOW.' There was no time to be spent on niceties.

She fumbled with the clasp of the mithril box on her father's desk. Opening it, she pulled out another smaller mithril and gold casket.

'The key, Glorfindel. I need the key.'

He searched the pockets of Elrond's robes and drew forth a small key on a chain. She snatched it from him. The lock was stiff with little use, but finally it snapped open. Lying on a bed of deep red silk was Vilya, the Ring of Air.

'Bring it here swiftly child for he passes ever deeper into the void.'

She gave him the Ring.

He set it upon Elrond's finger and clasped the other hand over it.

'You cannot use it here, Lord,' Arwen whispered. 'The enemy ...'

'The enemy is coming here whether we use the Ring or not. But I would use it even knowing it would awaken the enemy to its presence.'

He looked down at his friend and spoke to him.

'Lord Elrond. Harken to my voice. Here is that which was given to you by your King who you loved greatly. Feel its power.'

Elrond drifted in darkness.

No warmth, no colour, no sound.

Only all-encompassing black.

He could feel the weight of his heart within his breast.

'Mithrandír? His voice sounded hollow.

Before him were the Doors of Mandos and they were closed to him. He was alone. He pushed against the great wooden doors, but they refused to open. He was confused. Mithrandír should be here with him now. He tried to focus on an image of his lover, but he saw nothing.

'Mithrandír?' he called again.


The voice was close.

'Elrond? Hear my words.'


But he saw nothing.

'Feel the power of the Ring. Remember your King. Elrond, heed my words.'

'Mithrandír?' Less certain now came his voice. Then the pulling away from the Doors made him cry out.


And he fought to return to Mandos.

'Elrond?' This time the voice was louder, sterner. 'The power of your Ring calls to you. As you loved your King, come back.'

'Ada, please don't do this.'

He did not understand why his daughter was with him in the Void. Why has Arwen followed him?

The light was blinding and he screamed.

'Ada. Oh Ada, it's me, Arwen.'

'No!' he screamed again and sat upright.

'Ada, I'm here.'

As the life returned to his eyes and they began to focus again, he looked first at his daughter, then his friend.

'Why?' was all he could say before slumping back against the pillows.

Glorfindel gently removed the Ring from his finger and replaced it in the box. If any damage had been done, he would bear the responsibility. But he could not let his friend fall into the Void of death. He was too important to end his days in such a way.

'Arwen? How came you to Mandos?'

'No, Ada. You are back. Your were at the Doors, but Glorfindel brought you back.'

'You should not have, you should have left me.' He felt his daughter's tears on his cheek.

'Oh Ada, Ada,' she sobbed. 'You cannot die, not like that.'

He raised his hand to stroke her hair.

'I cannot bear the years ahead without him, Arwen.'

'I know, you loved him greatly. But if you passed into memory, what would we do?'

Elrond shivered. 'I am cold.'

Glorfindel helped her to move him under the bedcovers and Arwen lay down by him, adding her warmth to him. His eyes became vacant and his breathing, deep and regular, assured her he was sleeping.

'Arwen?' Glorfindel whispered. 'Stay with him, watch over him until he wakes.'

'I will not sleep. I will watch over him.'

He left father and daughter lying together and knew that she would not allow the Lord of Imladris to slip back into death again.

Elrond, Lord of Imladris slept all day and all the night. When he finally awoke, he looked at his daughter.

'Ada?' Her voice was soft, whisper quiet.

'Arwen? What are you doing here?'

'You don't remember?' She caressed his cheek.

He closed his eyes tightly and sighed heavily.

'Yes. I remember.' His face clouded. 'Why did you bring me back? He is gone.'

'You cannot go, Ada. We could not let you die. You are needed, I need you.'

'My heart is broken.'

'I know. But you cannot give up.' She rested her head on his shoulder and wept.

'Arwen. Sell-nin.' He stroked her hair. 'Shh, Little Butterfly. Weep no more. I am here, though I would wish to be with Mandos. I am here and I love you.'

'I love you, Ada,' she sniffed.

'Glorfindel used my Ring then?'

'Yes. He didn't know what else to do.'

'We are equal now. As I called him back from the arms of Mandos, so he has done the same for me.'

She rose from the bed and poured a drink.

'Here. Drink this,' she handed him a small goblet of Miruvor. He drank it in one and handed the empty goblet back.

'I am better now. I will carry on. I am needed. But I now do so ... alone.'

'You will always have me and the twins, Ada.'

'Will I?' He couldn't keep the bitterness from his voice.

She made no reply.

'Forgive me, Sell-nin. That was uncalled for. It would seem that we both have to follow our allotted path.' He sighed. 'I will bathe.' Slowly he rose from the bed and made his way to the bathing room.

He disrobed as if in a dream. His thoughts turned to that night he had spent with Mithrandír, here in this very room. He stepped down into the warm water and a sob escaped his throat.

'Mithrandír, Istar melethron-nin,' he muttered. 'You promised.'

Alone and in private, he allowed himself the luxury of tears.

Sindarin Translations (With grateful thanks to Dragon Flame.)

Ada = daddy
Adar = father
Anor = sun
Arda = earth
Hervenn = husband
Hervess = wife
Ithil = moon
Ion-nin = my son
Meldanya = my love
Melethron-nin = my lover
Melme = beloved
Mir-nin = my treasure/jewel
Naira = Heart of Flame (Elrond's horse)
Naneth = mother
Nana = mummy
Sell-nin= my daughter
Telemnar Lestánore = Silver Flame of Doriath