Winter Wings

by River-Woman

Rating: PG

Pairing: Elrond/Mithrandír.

Summary: Imladris, two years after the destruction of the Ring, Elrond watches the first snowfall of winter. A time for reflection and cuddles.

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: None, unless you count sappy fluff.

Archiving: Elrondslash; Lord of Imladris: Meddling in the Affairs of Wizards: Wizards & Elves; Gandalfslash: others please ask permission. Take it with pleasure.

Feedback: Would love it.

Beta-ed by Nefertiti as Trinity was unwell with a nasty cold when I wrote this.

Dedicated to Nefertiti - my love for Mithrandír is almost as great as hers. And to Trinity, who loves Elrond almost as much as me.

There is something magical about snow. It falls from the sky and brings with it an unearthly silence to the land. Rain can be noisy and irritating. The wind can cause damage. The sun can create drought if too hot for too long. But snow, ah! gentle, white snow. It makes even the oldest Elf want to laugh and cavort in its downy softness.

Elrond was standing under a covered walkway as he watched the falling snow. Large, white flakes drifted before his eyes, landing on the gardens and trees with a quiet elegance that he thought breathtaking. He stepped out into the elements and upturned his face. Sticking out his tongue, he caught a snowflake and tasted it. It was cold upon his tongue, but its flavour was winter. He laughed at the thought that you could taste winter. The white blanket stretched out before him. Pristine, virgin snow. Unmarked, unsullied. Not even a bird track crossed the whiteness. He had an urge to walk across it, to be the first to make his mark upon it. He stepped forward, then again. When he looked back, his footprints were there, but before him, nothing. He smiled to himself, and, lifting his robes, took another step. Then another. Before long he had blazed a trail through the garden to the nearest gazebo. He entered the relative dryness and shook himself like a great hound. Snow fell from him: from his robes, from his hair. He was wet, his boots were sodden but he felt invigorated and he flung his arms high as he twirled around in delight, laughing.

So much had happened in the last years, some bad, but also, good. Too many friends now lodged with Mandos. More were leaving Middle Earth to return to the Blesséd Realm. But there had also been great joy. Arwen was happy and pregnant with her first child, his first grandchild.

The Hobbits had returned to the Shire and had ousted Saruman once and for all and were even now replanting and re-building that land they held so dear. Indeed, only one year after the replanting of the Shire, the harvest had been the best ever known, and Imladris had been the recipient of much of that bumper yield. Master Samwise had married, and his wife, Rosie, was expecting their first child. The Hobbits had visited often before the winter had set in, and he delighted in their company. Frodo he knew, was troubled. His wound would never heal and he would carry its pain forever. Arwen had gifted her place on the White ship to Frodo should he wish it. For only in the Uttermost West would he find any peace.

Faramir had wed Eowyn and he was proving himself to be more than an adequate advisor and Steward to the King. As for Estel, the weight of Kingship still pressed heavily upon his shoulders, but Elrond knew that they were broad and strong and he was growing into the mantle of Kingship. Eomer was King of Rohan and strong links were now forged with the horse-masters, as evidenced by the new brood mares now lodged in the stables of Imladris.

Legolas and Gimli were traveling the lands together. The strangest of bedfellows, but their relationship worked and worked well. In the brief time they had stayed in Imladris, Elrond had observed the fierce love and loyalty they shared with each other. Let any Man, Dwarf or Elf gainsay one of them, and the other would challenge the miscreant. Indeed, the Halls of Fire would be quieter with their absence, as many an Elf found himself thrown hard against the wall, staring eyeball to eyeball with an affronted Legolas or staring down at an equally incensed Gimli. The pair had left for the Great Greenwood only recently, to spend this winter within the caverns of Thranduil. It would the first time Legolas had returned to his home since the War. How the King would regard his son and heir and his choice of lover remained to be seen. But Thranduil loved his son, and if Legolas were happy, then so would he be. Still, Elrond often thought that he would love to be a fly on the wall at that first meeting of King, Prince and Dwarf.

The snow stopped falling and the sky was clearing. Ithil peeped through a cloud. The light became ghostly and silver. The trees sparkled like Mithril and the ground shone in the moonlight. He leaned on the wooden rail and gazed out upon such beauty. The gleaming whiteness reminded him of someone.


His beloved husband. They had bonded on the Field of Cormellon after Arwen's wedding. They had stayed in Minis Tirith for a month after the wedding, but both wanted to return to Imladris. Not only to start the re-building after the attacks from Moria orcs during the war, but also to begin the preparations for their departure. Their love grew with each passing day. They were in tune with each other. They knew each other, the nuances and foibles that made living together both a challenge and a joy. They were soul mates, connected forever. And he loved the Istar. He sighed.

'So deep a sigh for such a beautiful night,' Mithrandír said, bringing his arms around the Elf and resting his chin on Elrond's shoulder.

'I did not hear your approach,' Elrond said, turning into the embrace.

They kissed, a deep lingering kiss.

'Snow does that you know,' Mithrandír said as they parted. They leaned against the rail together, shoulder and hip touching.

'Does what, melme?'

'Dulls ones approach. Useful when you want to sneak up on an Elf.'

Elrond slipped his arm around his husband's waist. 'And why would you want to sneak up on an Elf?'

'Oh, one has his reasons.'

'One does, does he?'

The Istar laughed. 'It is the only time I do get to sneak up on you. Even asleep you always know where I am.'

Elrond squeezed his husband. 'I will miss this when we depart,' he said.

'What? Standing with your arm around me? I should hope that you will find time to embrace me when we are living in Eldamar.'

'No, wizardling! The snow. I shall miss the snow. Miss nights like this, when the earth is white and sparkles like gems in the moonlight, and our breath drifts like smoke upon the air. A silence fills the world and all of nature is enveloped in an icy beauty.'

'Ah. Yes, it is rather fetching.'

They stood and watched the night in silence. Their breath mingling in the frigid air, their bodies warm against each other.

'Come on.' Mithrandír grabbed Elrond's hand and pulled him to the edge of the gazebo.

'Taking me in already? My, my, you are eager tonight. Anyone would think that you had not loved me enough today.'

'You are too full of yourself, Elf.' Mithrandír led him out of the gazebo and into the middle of the lawn. 'Lie down.'

'What? You expect me to lie down in the snow?'

'Yes.' And with that, the Istar fell back into a soft drift. 'Come on, you do it as well.'

'Do what? What are you doing except lying in the snow moving your arms and legs around?'

'You come and do it as well.'

'Will it make you happy?'

'Possibly. But it will make you even happier.'

'Very well. But if anyone sees me, I will deny everything and insist that I don't know you.' Elrond fell back besides his husband. 'Now what?'

'Now move your arms up and down and your legs in and out.'

Elrond did as he was bid. 'I feel very stupid,' he said.

'But you look delectable.' Mithrandír said, offering the Elf his hand. He pulled Elrond to his feet and linking their arms, walked forward, then he turned. 'Look.'

Elrond turned and looked at the ground. He laughed and squeezed Mithrandír's hand.

'Hmm. Very ... artistic.' was all he said.

'I think so,' the wizard said.

'Where did you learn such a thing?' Elrond said as he brushed snow from his robe.

'Galadriel showed me when she was here last winter.'

'My mother-in law showed you? I don't believe it.'

'Ask her.'

'I intend to,' Elrond laughed as he pulled Mithrandír close and kissed the tip of his cold nose. 'Come, time for a nice long bath to warm us up.'

'We could do any number of things instead of a bath to warm us up.' Mithrandír said and winked outrageously at his beloved.

Elrond smiled. 'And why would you think that a bath rules out all those other things?'

The wizard opened his mouth to say something, but stopped.

'Exactly,' Elrond said, a look of naughty joy creeping over his face.

They walked back through the snow into the warmth of the house, arms wrapped around each other.

On the snow covered lawn, sparkling in the moonlight, lay the outline of two snow Balrogs, complete with wings.