In Darkness And In Doubt by Crista
Summary: As the time to sail draws near and they make their Choice, Elladan and Elrohir must come to terms with the consequences.
Categories: FPS > Elros/Elrond, FPS, FPS > Elladan/Elrohir, FPS > Elrohir/Elladan, FPS > Erestor/Glorfindel, FPS > Glorfindel/Erestor, FPS > Elrond/Elros Characters: Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Elros, Erestor, Glorfindel
Type: Romance/Drama
Warning: Angst, Incest
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 4923 Read: 1901 Published: July 30, 2012 Updated: July 30, 2012
Story Notes:
For someone who isn't a huge fan of Elladan/Elrohir as a pairing, I seem to write a lot of it, don't I? The title is taken from the TTT scene with Elrond and Arwen...I loved the line, and it seemed to fit. For those who don't like twincest, leave now, although it's worth noting that this isn't a graphic-sex kind of fic; I like to focus more on the emotional side, so it's kind of a character study with minimal squickiness. AU.

1. Chapter 1 by Crista

Chapter 1 by Crista


"What will we do when it comes time to sail?"

There was a long pause.

"I do not know." he considered. "Do you?"

"No." Elladan sighed. "Why did you think I was asking?"

"Know that I will follow you whatever your choice. I would never be willingly parted from you, melethron."

"Nor I from you." Elladan murmured, rolling onto his side to face his twin. The motion caused the sheets to slip to Elladan's waist, and Elrohir made an appreciative noise, eyeing the muscled chest without bothering to disguise the lust in his glance. Elladan chuckled softly.

"Always but one thought on your mind, brother mine."

"Would you prefer otherwise?"

"You know me better than to even think that."

"I know you better than I know myself." Elrohir sighed. "Then again, I do not know myself all that well."

"That is why you have me."

"One of a thousand reasons." Elrohir murmured, gently brushing his fingertips over his twin's cheek. "Elladan?"


"I do not think we can sail."

Elladan looked away, a shadow falling on his grey eyes. "No," he murmured, "I do not think so either."

Elrohir stood, alone and motionless, on his balcony. From below he could hear the voices of his father and his sister from her room, and an involuntary shiver shook his frame.

"But you, my daughter, will linger on, in darkness and in doubt, as night falls and comes without a single star."

A sob tore itself from Elrohir's throat, and he sank to his knees as the chill wind whipped around him. It was never warm in Imladris anymore; the land had passed into autumn, and its inhabitants along with it. They would leave, or they would fade into nothingness, leaving only a dimly perceived memory of ancient beauty long since passed into dust.

"This is not what I want." he whispered, but his voice was lost amidst the rustling of fallen leaves.


The younger twin did not turn.


"Ion-nin, it is nearly time."

"I need make no preparations, Adar. I am not leaving."

"You are not leaving? El, I always thought-"

"That I would cleave to the Firstborn? I would have, once." Elrohir sighed. "Life has come between me and those plans."

Elrond pinned the considerable full force of his gaze on his son.

"Life, or your brother?"

"At this point, Adar, I cannot have the first without the second."

"Then I suppose I need not ask Elladan his choice." Elrond sighed. "I certainly do not need to ask you if you love him more than you should."

At that, Elrohir rose and whirled around all in the same motion, and Elrond looked away.

"You knew?"

"I suspected." Elrond amended. "You and your brother were both sexually insatiable once you reached maturity, then suddenly you both stopped taking lovers. That was my first clue, and sometimes there would be a look in your eyes neither of you could quite hide...but I was never certain, perhaps because I did not wish to be."

"I never meant for this to happen." Elrohir whispered, turning away from his father once more. "I never wanted to hurt anyone."

"It was avoidable, Elrohir."

"Was it?" he sighed. "What would you have me do? I can stay here with Elladan and hurt you, or I could leave him behind and condemn us both to a slow fading. We could never cross the Sea together...aiya, I wanted to, I tried to find a way...but there is none. If there is a reckoning before the Valar after our deaths, so be it, but I would not willingly risk being parted from him while there is breath in my body."

"You made this choice, Elrohir."

"And I will face the consequences, but I always knew they would not be easy. I...I love him, Ada. In the end, I could not have acted differently."


Arwen's soft voice roused Elladan from his thoughts, and he turned to see his sister standing in the doorway.

"Come in, muinthel."

She sat down beside him, her fingers fidgeting with the folds of her skirt.

"Are you leaving?"

"No," he murmured, "I will stay."

"For Elrohir."

"For both of us." he amended. She sighed and clasped his hand in both her own and felt the reassuring touch of his battle-callused fingertips, the gentle pressure of his grip.

"Am I making the right choice, Elladan?"

"In leaving?" he shrugged. "It is your choice alone, Arwen. I cannot know that."

"But you have an opinion."


"Saes, gwanur, tell me what you think."

"Truthfully? I think you are making the greatest mistake of your life. You will always regret this whether he lives or dies, and I am not convinced you will not fade even if you do choose immortality. In your place, no power on Arda could make me leave, and certainly not one of Ada's guilt-inducing lectures alone."

"Do you think Middle Earth will survive the war?"

"It will have to." Elladan answered. "I am bound here now, as is Elrohir. It must survive."

Elrohir had expected to find the gardens abandoned so late at night; he had left Elladan sound asleep in bed to sit outside for a time and think over everything racing through his mind. Tonight, though, Elrohir's favorite spot by his mother's roses was occupied by his former tutor. Glorfindel was too absorbed in thought to notice the younger twin immediately; it was only the snap of a twig underfoot that betrayed his presence.

"Elrohir. You are abroad late tonight."

"As are you. Could you not sleep either?"

"After a fashion." he sighed. "Erestor and I fought."

"Mm. Lover's quarrel." Elrohir remarked, sitting down next to the blonde Elda. "What about?"

"Sailing. 'Tor is not an Elf of Aman, you know. He was born in Gondolin before its fall."

"And he fears to leave?"

"I would not say he fears it, but neither is he prepared for it."

"And you wish to return to your birthplace?"

"Even if I did not, I would. I am bound to serve your father, and to do so is to follow him. That was part of what we argued over."

"Stay for him or leave him altogether." Elrohir murmured. "Either he is worth it, or he is not."

"I don't suppose you understand, El. The Sea-longing allows for no other loyalties."

"Do not dare suggest I do not understand what it is to be torn between love and the Sea. I have made my choice, and I will die for it! I have chosen to give everything I hold dear and all that I am for my love! I am an Elfling no longer, Glorfindel."

"So it is done." Glorfindel sighed. "You will make the ultimate sacrifice."

"It is worth it."

"To you. I...I am not yet certain where my heart truly belongs."

"My place will always be with my lover. If you do not feel the same for need not renounce your immortality to stay with him, as I must for my lover. Perhaps the problem is not so much Aman as you."

"It is much easier for you to give up Aman, Elrohir. It is an unknown to you, a place to think and wonder about, not a place to live. To me it is home, and I have lived two lifetimes away from it."

"Glorfindel," Elrohir murmured, "I wanted to sail. I wanted immortality...and no matter how much I love him, I still doubt my choice. Is love worth my life? On an intellectual level there is no question...but despite all the love I bear for my melethron, there is something in me screaming for me to leave him now while I still can, to flee to Valinor and never think of him again."

"And do you not think Elladan would follow you?"


"El, I have known for years." Glorfindel said. "Even had I not worked it out on my own, my lover happens to be the one person in Imladris who knows virtually everything about its inhabitants." Glorfindel looped one arm comfortingly around Elrohir's shoulders. "You are not wrong in thinking there is perhaps more trouble in store for you over Sea than here."

"Arwen is leaving." Elrohir murmured. "Ada told her to leave, and even now she is on the road to the Havens."

"She will not travel that path to its end." a soft voice behind them said. They turned to see Erestor emerge from the darkness of the gardens, clad in his customary black and moving as softly as a shadow. "Perhaps you should leave the young Prince to his thoughts, 'Fin. I should imagine there are a great many of them that require attention. Come back to bed, melethron." Erestor said, offering his hand to the blonde. Glorfindel took it and rose, casting an uncertain glance at Elrohir.

"You will be fine on your own?"

"Aye." Elrohir answered, smiling slightly at the day-and-night pair his two former tutors made. "Go back to bed, and perhaps even to sleep."

Erestor chuckled and released Glorfindel's hand to wrap and arm around the blonde's waist. "There will be sleep. We have work to do come morning; we have put off packing for the voyage too long as is."

Glorfindel turned astonished eyes on Erestor. "Pardon?"

"You heard me, meleth. Now come."

Elrohir watched them go and felt his eyes cloud with tears in spite of himself. They could make their choice so easily, the pair of them; they need not fear the judgment of the Valar, and Elrohir would die for his sins, age and die a mortal death, robbed of his eternal youth. His strength would wane, his features would sink and fold, his raven hair would turn to frost, his brilliant eyes would dim, his mind would cloud. And for what? For a love that could not, should not be, a love that he could not stop questioning. Elrohir knew what he felt, knew the perfect rightness of being in his brother's strong embrace, the sweet perfection of his kiss...but his feelings still warred with knowledge embedded into his mind, his whole being tainted by fear for himself and his twin, fear of death and fear of judgment. Perhaps Arwen was right, perhaps he should leave now, ride out of the valley at a dead gallop and leave before Elladan had a chance to follow.

And leave to what? With or without his twin by his side, they had sinned enough with each other that there was no going back for either. It was too late now; one way or another, Elrohir would die.

Elladan woke to the supremely unpleasant combination of early morning, a cold draft, and an empty bed.

"Elrohir?" he called, but there was no reply. With an ill-pleased groan, Elladan rolled out of bed and dressed quickly, pulling his cloak around his shoulders and closing the drapes to block the chill morning air before leaving his chambers in search of his brother. He found Erestor first, however, looking distinctly more bleary-eyed than was usual, as the dark Advisor had always been an early riser.

"Good morning, Erestor." Elladan greeted him.

"I would hardly call it good, Ell, but the sentiment is appreciated."

"You look exhausted."

"I am." he admitted, stifling a yawn and pushing his dark hair back from his face. The motion revealed a line of pink ovals down the side of Erestor's pale neck, and Elladan failed miserably to suppress a smirk.

"Long night, hm? Glorfindel wear you out?"

Erestor glared, though the effect had always been lost on the twins, and now was no exception. Elladan chuckled, utterly unrepentant.

"It is easy for you to laugh, as you were exhausted and sound asleep while your Elrohir was wandering the gardens last night."

Elladan didn't even bother to ask how Erestor knew of both his relationship with Elrohir and his twin's whereabouts.

"Is he still there?"

"If he did not come back to bed, I would assume so."

"Thank you, Erestor."

"Not at all, pen-neth. Now run along, and I shall see you at breakfast."

Elladan did, in fact, find his twin in the gardens, lying flat on his stomach in the grass with his head on his arms, watching a large chipmunk as it scampered about in search of food.

"Do not tell me you slept outside." Elladan said.

"I didn't."


"I did not sleep."


"I needed to think, Ell." Elrohir replied, his gaze never leaving the small creature in front of him.

"Were you not cold?"

"I am not so far gone into mortality that I am affected by the cold."

"I am." Elladan murmured. Elrohir sighed and closed his eyes briefly. "I know. It is not the only thing about you that begins to fade away." Elrohir looked up at his twin, grey eyes sorrowful. "I cannot feel you in my mind the way I used to."

"El, I-" Elladan broke off abruptly, realizing the truth in his brother's statement. Only a few days ago, he would have known instinctively where his twin was, would have been able to feel echos of his twin's feelings.

"Must we sacrifice this as well?"

"So it would appear."

Time passed

Elrohir rose and dressed quickly in simple, sensible leggings and a tunic. He threw his cloak around his shoulders and clasped at the neck with a brooch in the shape of a horse, the symbol gifted to him along with his name. Elf-knight.

"And an Elf I will remain." he whispered, putting his quiver and bow over his shoulder and buckling his favorite sword at his waist. Elrohir leaned ov er his brother and pressed a final kiss to Elladan's crimson lips before he stole from the room as silently as any of the Firstborn. Elrohir had not understood at first why he did not feel the cold when his twin did, why he did not tire as easily as Elladan, why his mind still reached for the brush of its twin.

Then he understood, and he knew he had made his choice without realizing it. He was still Elven.

Elrohir hurried to the Anduin and the small ship that awaited him. Two other figures were already aboard; one, the tall, slender form of the youngest Prince of Mirkwood and Lord of Ithilien, golden hair gleaming in the starlight, the other doubtless the Dwarven Lord of the Glittering Caves.

"Legolas, Gimli." Elrohir greeted them quietly. "All is prepared?"

"Aye, El, it is." Legolas replied softly, his azure gaze lingering on the cool white gleam of Minas Tirith in the darkness. "It is time for us to leave."

Elladan with the distinct feeling that something was horribly, irreversibly wrong. He sat up in bed, looking around him for his twin, only to find the room empty, his brother's cloak and weapons gone. With a thrill of foreboding, Elladan rose and dressed, flinging open the doors to the adjoining rooms of their chambers, only to find them all abandoned. Frowning, Elladan strode down the corridor in search of any who might know of his brother's whereabouts. He met Eldarion first, still groggy and bleary-eyed, but he became instantly more alert upon seeing his uncle.


"Have you seen Elrohir this morn, pen-neth?"

"Not since last night." he replied. "Ask Nana, if you dare approach her."

"She is my sister, Eldarion. I think she will speak to me."

"I believe she is awake. Check the gardens."

Elladan nodded and went off in search of the grieving Queen, unsurprised to find her in the rose garden she had worked so tirelessly to coax into beauty. She looked up at the sound of her brother's approach, and her grey eyes darkened.

"Elladan." she murmured sorrowfully.

"Muinthel," he asked gently, "have you any notion as to the whereabouts of my twin?"

She sighed. "I do. I told him you would feel it, but does Elrohir listen to anyone? Not even you."

"Arwen?" he queried gently, knowing well that Arwen had been touchy and fragile of late, and understandably so. The death of the one she had given her immortality for should be upsetting, to say the least.

"I never really thought he would do it. El was always so delicate in so many ways, even though he never admitted it. Yours was the last trust I thought he would break...but in the end I suppose he would have done it one way or another. He always knew he would never be happy."

"Arwen, what are you talking about?"

"He is gone."

"Gone where? Muinthel, you spoke of betraying my trust..."

"He is sailing for Valinor." Arwen whispered, looking down. "He left with Legolas and Gimli last night. I watched them set sail from my bedroom window."

"He cannot sail, he is mortal now-"

"No." she said quietly but firmly. "He chose mortality on an intellectual level, but his heart had other plans. Why did you suppose he never felt the cold, never seemed to change as you did? He has left, Elladan, and there is no bringing him back now."

For a long moment, Elladan simply stood still, too shocked to even think straight, just trying to get his head around Arwen's quiet words. Gone...Elrohir was gone...

Elladan's anguished scream shattered the quiet calm of the morning, echoing coldly in the stone and mountains, and he fell to his knees on the soft grass of the garden. Arwen moved to his side, her skirts rustling quietly as she did so.

"It was his choice, Ell."

"He swore he would stay with me." Elladan whispered. "He swore he would never leave my side."

"I do not think the choice was entirely his. One way or another, he was meant to leave."

"You were the last person I expected to meet on these shores, Elrohir." Galadriel said, the calmness of her voice not reflecting the surprise in her eyes. "Your father was under the impression you were mortal."

"Ada was wrong." Elrohir said quietly. She eyed him for a long moment, then shook her head slightly.

"Very well. Come, and I shall show you to him, that you might have a place to stay, and then I will take the other two to the guest house."

She led them to a modest house not far from the shore and knocked.

"Elrond, Celebrian, come and greet your son." she called. There was a sound of hurried footsteps, and Elrond opened the door, stopping dead when his eyes met those of his secondborn son.


"Hello, Ada." he whispered. Galadriel silently led the other two away, leaving father and son to their reunion.

"How?" Elrond asked. "You told me yourself you would cleave to the Secondborn."

"It was the choice of my mind," he sighed and regarded his father sadly, "not of my heart."

"Your heart would not rather be with Ella- with your brother?"

"It was...different." Elrohir answered, shrugging one shoulder awkwardly. Elrond nodded.

"You could no longer feel him in your mind." off Elrohir's surprised look, Elrond smiled sadly. "I, too, had a twin once."

Elrond ushered his son inside and motioned him onto a nearby chair before retreating from the room and returning with a beautiful blonde She-Elf that Elrohir had not laid eyes on in years.

"Nana." he said, rising. She remained silent, but rushed forward and pulled him into a fierce embrace, and he wrapped his arms gently around her slender frame, conscious of his strength and careful not to hurt her, no matter how tempted he was to tighten the embrace until she couldn't breathe.

"I have missed you." he whispered into her hair, and he felt a trickle of warm liquid slide down his neck and a faint tremble of her shoulders, and he knew that she was crying.

"Ion-nin." she murmured, fisting her hands in his hair. "I thought I would never see you again."

"I know." he answered quietly. With a sigh, Celebrian let go of him and stepped back a pace, just looking at him, her gaze appraising.

"You have changed."

"I daresay I have."

She sighed. "Perhaps now is not the time to talk of it. Come, I will show you to a spare room you may use, and you can rest and wash before we dine. One of us will come fetch you when it is time to eat."

"He is miserable here." Celebrian said sadly, watching her son from the window.

"It has been a long time since he was happy, meleth-nin." Elrond murmured, placing one arm around his shoulders. She shrugged it off and pulled away from him.

"It should not be this way. I did not bear him within me and bring him into the world only to be met with grief, I did not raise him and teach him so that he might live to despair!" she said, beginning to pace. "He has already seen too much, lived through too much. Why can he not love whom he will without consequences?!?"

"Cel, it is forbidden-"

"Don't you dare take the moral high ground, Elrond!" she snapped. "Had things been different, you and Elros would have done the same!"

Celebrian knew instantly that she had overstepped her bounds, but she did not back down, even when her husband's gaze turned lethal.

"Pardon?" he said, with deadly calm. "I must have misheard you."

"Oh, I do not think so." she answered coolly.

"I demand you take that back!"

"Don't presume to demand anything of me, Elrond! It is long past time you admitted it to yourself and dealt with it, instead of trying to make your sons as unhappy as you were!"

"And what would you have me do, Cel?!? The choice is made; it cannot be undone!"

"What does it matter to the Valar?!? He will be lost either way! If he stays he will fade, if he goes he will die!"

"We cannot change what is done!"

"Fine!" Celebrian snapped. "If you will do nothing I will seek Manw alone!" she stormed from the house, and Elrond saw Elrohir look up at her as she passed. His gaze shifted to the window, and two pairs of grey eyes met for a long moment.

"I think I just lost her a second time." Elrond whispered.

"My Lord Manw." Celebrian said, dipping into a graceful curtsey.

"Mae govannen, Lady Celebrian." the Vala replied, motioning her upright.

"Quite a row you and Elrond had, I must say."

"He can be..."

"Insufferable?" supplied a musical female voice, and a lady of indescribable beauty appeared at Manw's side, her expression amused.

"I love you too, Varda." he answered. She laughed, a sweet, rippling sound, and motioned for Celebrian to take a seat opposite herself and her husband. Though she was conscious she was in the presence of gods, Celebrian felt surprisingly at ease; they did not act much differently from Elrond and herself.

"You are here regarding your son." Elbereth said, sobering. "His grief had come to our attention as well. Nienna, with whom you are already rather well acquainted, first brought it up, and I have kept an eye on your Elf-Knight of late."

"Something must be done." Celebrian said firmly.

"Must it?" Manw countered. "The result seems to be inevitable. He stays, he dies, he leaves, he dies."

"He will only fade if he remains alone."

"What are you proposing?"

"Let Elladan repent of his Choice."

"Elladan's choice was consciously made."

"It would have been different had he thought coming to Valinor an option. He remained out of fear."

"And who is to say his fear is not justified?"

"You would condemn him for love?" she questioned, her tone hardening.

"I already do, Lady Celebrian, and it is as an indulgence to you that I grant this audience."

Celebrian caught a glimpse of mutiny in Elbereth's eyes, but the Star-Kindler did not speak.

"You would forgive a Kinslayer sooner than one who has harmed none but himself, one who has ever served to keep the land free from evil?!?" she snapped, rising.

"It is not the same." Manw said coldly, irritation glittering in his eyes.

"It is the same! What makes my mother more worthy than my sons?!? I freely concede that she has done wrong, I freely concede that the twins were in the wrong concerning the law, but they have only ever served, never harmed! Is the right to love whom they will too much to ask in payment for all they have done?!? It harms no one, it is between two consenting Elves past their majority, so what difference does it make?!?"

"You presume too much, Lady Celebrian!"

"No." Elbereth's voice had lost its pleasant lilt altogether now. "No, she does not. The Lady is completely right."

"Varda, do not be difficult."

"If you do not do it, Manw, then I swear on my name that I will!"

Manw hesitated. It was clear that Elbereth was deadly serious; a warning frown was on her face, and her ageless eyes of deepest blue were gleaming with anger. When her husband made no reply, she rose and gathered her skirts of midnight blue about her, silently commanding Celebrian to follow as she swept from the hall.

"Elladan." Celebrian murmured, but her eldest did not stir from where he sat in the garden.

"Arwen, saes, I need some time alone."

"I will be sure to tell her." Celebrian said. He turned, and his expression shifted quickly from morose to astonished. "Nana?"

"Aye, pen-neth, I am here." she replied, sinking gracefully to her knees beside him. "I have come to bring you home."

"I have no home anymore."

"Ell...your brother is dying."

"He left me to die alone. One ill turn deserves another." Elladan said b itterly.

"You cannot mean that."


"He had every intention of dying at your side, Ell, but his heart had other plans. The Sea-longing allows for no lesser loyalty. I know it, he knows it, and you have seen what it did to Legolas, lingering here."

"Nana, I cannot go. He has made his Choice, and I have made mine."

"It can be undone. You need only say the words and come with me, Elladan. Do not make me loose my sons."

He looked at her for a long moment with those heartbroken eyes of his, eyes the color of a stormy autumn sky, eyes exactly like Elrond's.

"I will go."

"He will be on the cliffs. He spends most of his time there lately."

Elladan merely nodded, unable to speak. He still did not know if this was the right decision, still did not know if her could ever be happy here. But it was his twin's life at stake, and Elladan couldn't make himself hate Elrohir no matter how hard he tried, any more than he could forget him. Had he stayed, he would have never forgiven himself.

The sight of his twin made Elladan's breath stick in his throat, and he froze. He barely recognized his brother-turned-lover. The raven hair was swept back from Elrohir's face by the strong wind on the rocks, revealing a face that had changed from delicate to bony. Elladan recognized the tunic and leggings Elrohir wore, he knew they had been tight, but now they hung loose on his frame, and there were deep hollows under Elrohir's beautiful eyes. Celebrian took her son's hand and squeezed it tightly, then led him closer.

"Ion-nin, come away from the edge."

"Nana, please, leave me to myself."

"Look at us, Elrohir."

"Us?" he queried, turning. His eyes widened, and he tightened his grip on the rocks until his knuckles went white.

"It is not possible."

"So I thought, as well. But our mother, it seems, is full of surprises." Elladan answered softly.

"This is why you and Ada fought." Elrohir said, turning his attention once more to Celebrian. "You fought over us."

"Child, I fought with Manw over you, so you had best not prove my effo rts wasted. Come."

Elrohir rose and walked to meet them, stopping a hair's breadth away from his twin. A smile warmed his face, and he brought one hand to rest on his brother's cheek.

"I can feel you in my mind again." he whispered, catching one of Elladan's stray braids and winding it around his fingers.

"You should never have left, El."

"I could not stay, Ell. I am so sorry; I do not know if you will ever be able to forgive me."

"I came here for you, did I not?" he murmured, mirroring his twin's motio ns. Elrohir looked at him uncertainly, and Elladan tilted his head slightly and moved closer, meeting his twin's lips in a gentle, almost questioning kiss. Elrohir wrapped his arms around Elladan and returned the kiss, still conscious of their mother's presence but unwilling to let go of Elladan for fear this was all just a beautiful dream.

Celebrian watched, strangely moved, as her sons kissed. She found nothing repulsive or unnatural in it; quite the contrary, they looked made for one another. She saw the gleam of tears on both her son's cheeks and knew she would have seen the same had she seen her reflection in a looking glass. Elladan let one arm drop from Elrohir's shoulders to the small of his back, and his other reached up to smooth away the tracks of liquid silver from Elrohir's face.

This was meant to be. We were meant to be.

Elrohir smiled into the kiss.

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