The Folly of Starlight 18. Interlude: If You Love Them Enough by AC

Story notes: Events occurring during "The Dance of Eternity" (after Legolas' injury and before Glorfindel's wedding).

Thanks to Emma for the beta job. Several lines of dialog taken from "The Quenta Silmarillion" (The Lost Road)
Comments are always cherished.

The Folly of Starlight series.
Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to a little flower or to a little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also - if you love them enough.
-- George Washington Carver

[Laire 34, the year 2717 of the Third Age, the dwelling of Elrond Peredhil in the valley sanctuary of Imladris, known in the Common Tongue as Rivendell]

With the delicate, feathery flicker of a solitary candle the singular interruption to the perfection of darkness, Elrond brooded in uneasy silence. He had not long before assumed this slightly sprawled position in a stiff wooden chair at the far end of the antechamber of the Hall of Healing, where his beloved slept beyond the doorway. The comforting cloak of night's shadow had finally fallen not more than a scant hour before. After the usual tending to the prince's wounds and the welcome poultice of words of tenderness, he kissed those sweet lips one final time, then held the other elf until the golden prince succumbed to the welcoming arms of Lorien's dreams.

Yet even though Legolas now rested in serenity and security, Elrond shared none of his lover's ease. Something was most definitely weighing on the younger elf's mind, something certainly related to an earlier visit his chief counselor had paid to his beloved.

"He merely spoke of the past, and the future." Although Legolas claimed his distraction was simply a natural reflection of Glorfindel's remembrances, Elrond's concern was not so easily assuaged. What tales of ages past could dim the light in those fiery eyes? A possibility too terrible to consider fleetly flickered through his reluctant brain. Elrond shook his head sharply, and with the motion tried to dislodge this mightily uncomfortable thought from his mind. It could not possibly be 'that' particular memory. Glorfindel would never take it upon himself to tell Legolas about so private and precious an event. No, Elrond knew his lover would entrust him with the true reason for his uncommon reticence, whatever its cause, but in his own time.

The thought that Legolas would keep secrets from him felt unnatural, unsettling. Yet how could he hold his lover to a higher standard than he held himself? For Elrond had his own secrets from previous ages which he knew he could not hide for long. Thranduil's stalking the halls of his home for the first time since the Last Alliance made the presence of those secrets much harder to ignore. I pray Mirkwood's lord takes the secrets of his past with him when he leaves in the morn.

Secrets bred as swiftly as rabbits, yet yielded offspring far less fetching. Elrond bore their scars, as had most of his line. He could not bear to think of his precious Greenleaf suffering any further, especially not by his hand, no matter how well-intentioned his motivations. What was the true kindness -- to reveal the doubly hopeless nature of their relationship, to know the true fate of the High King's spirit, or to believe that it was Celebrian alone who prevented the binding of their spirits as closely as their hearts and bodies had become as one.

But once he loosened his tongue, what was to halt the waterfall of truth from cascading without bound? Which secrets would be revealed, and which would remain hidden in the tangled web of his memories? Could he reveal the reluctant choices of his past, and at the very same time keep hidden the sins of his lover's forefathers? But what good could come of burdening his beloved with the knowledge of past sorrows best left buried along with his grandsire's ashes?

With a forlorn sigh, Elrond wearily wiped a hand across his forehead, his mind replaying events of ages past he had not found the need to revisit in quite some time.
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