Bend in the Wind - Ch13: Bend in the Wind

Disclaimer: see chapter one
Names/Pronunciations will come at the end of each chapter.

`*' signals a footnote
"text" signals dialogue
'text' signals thoughts

Chapter 13.) Bend in the Wind

birds sing sweeter than books tell how
- e. e. cummings

Sept 3, 12 Fourth Age

Elrohir closed the door reluctantly behind him as he stepped out into the hallway. Celeborn, who had gone before him turned back with an unreserved grin. Elrohir met it with one of his own as he returned his grandfather's embrace affectionately.

"Greatgrandfather?" Elrohir whispered in Celeborn's ear.

The silver Elf stepped back and chuckled. "I think it will suite me well."

"Shall you stay?" Elrohir nodded toward the closed door.

"Nay, they need their time alone for now, and I do not think that Elladan will be inclined to give the little one up before the morning."

Elrohir smiled. In his mind he could still see his brother sitting by the window with his new son, Arannon, cuddled against his chest. The picture suited him.

"It is almost dawn," Celeborn commented quietly, "I believe I shall retire."

Elrohir nodded and watched for a few moments as his grandfather strolled down the candlelit hallway. The group of anxious Elves that had inhabited the hall since the evening before had dispersed an hour earlier, leaving those closest to enjoy the company of the newborn babe.

Turning toward his bedchamber Elrohir noticed for the first time that Nessúlë was sitting quietly on the floor, a few yards away from the birthing room. When the other well-wishers had left Nessúlë had slipped out with them before Elrohir could bid her to stay. He had assumed that she went back to her bed. From the looks of her it was where she belonged: her eyes were glassy with weariness and her skin was pale. But she still looked up and smiled brightly when he came over to slide down next to her on the floor.

"He's so beautiful," she whispered.

"Mmm," Elrohir agreed, folding her hand in one of his own and letting his head lean back against the wall.

He hadn't realized how tired he was. His eyes drifted closed. Several silent moments passed as his breathing became deeper and slower.

This quiet reverie was rudely interrupted by a sharp poke in the side. Elrohir grunted and opened one eye.

"What was that for?"

A lopsided grin spread across Nessúlë's face. "I can't very well carry you back to your bed. And you don't want to fall asleep on this floor - you'll never unbend in the morning."

Elrohir snorted lightly with amusement. "Well put. Alright then, up I go."

Nessúlë's grin evened out into a soft smile as she watched Elrohir push himself up from the ground. She was about to follow when Elrohir bent down and hoisted her up in his arms.

"What are you doing?" Nessúlë furrowed her brows and squirmed petulantly in his arms but her slight, tired chuckle ruined the impression that she was upset. "I was able to walk from the room, Elrohir, certainly I can make it down the hallway."

"But you shouldn't," Elrohir replied, as he pushed open the door to her room with his foot.

Nessúlë rolled here eyes. "Very well."

"Besides," Elrohir continued, as he held her over the tantalizingly comfortable bed, "It provides me with a very legitimate excuse to hold you."

And so saying he plopped her playfully down onto the already unmade bed. A slight blush crept up Nessúlë's cheeks as Elrohir pulled the blankets up around her and she burrowed into their warm depths.

Elrohir smiled fondly as he watched Nessúlë situate herself. "May your dreams be sweet, love," he whispered as he turned to leave.

"And yours also."

The words were faint through the covers, but Elrohir heard them and took them with him from the room.


Nessúlë awoke the next morning to the soothing fragrance of steaming lavender. Pushing her head up through the covers she looked over toward the door to her bathing chamber. Curling wisps of vapor were creeping out from behind the half-opened door.

The prospect of a bath was almost enough to get Nessúlë out of bed, but not quite. Just a few more minutes were needed. After days of not sleeping, an injury, and a night of expectant waiting for Oloriel's child to be born, Nessúlë felt that she was justified in taking her time.

Rolling over stiffly Nessúlë let her eyes wander from the open windows, down along the floor, and up to the arresting splash of red that was hovering in her sleep-filled vision.

"Roses?" she murmured groggily, lifting her head up and blinking her eyes. Apprehending that, yes, they were indeed roses, she let her head fall back down. Elrohir had been there.

Several minutes later Nessúlë stretched lazily out along the bed and then began pushing the covers off of her. She assumed that Elrohir had been responsible for having the bath drawn as well as for the bouquet of radiant blossoms. Her eyes traveled once more to the flowers on the bedside table as she rubbed the back of her neck and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. But her feet never reached the floor as she paused in her movements to study the object nestled beneath the roses. It was a thick packet of some sort, sealed closed with wax.

Nessúlë picked it up and turned it over. She almost laughed out loud when she saw what was written upon the front. It was her name, spelled with Mannish letters in a rich burgundy ink.

`Surely he didn't!' she thought, amazed.

But he had. Within the outer parchment there were several other smaller letters, sealed with the same wax, and signed to her. Along with the letters came this note:

Na i'gwen o i'ëar {To the Maiden of the Sea},

Though it grieved me much to see your distress at having lost them, it was also a sign of hope to me that you cherished my letters so dearly. Even now this thought makes me smile. But I do not want to keep this joy all to myself. I once offered to restore the letters to you by writing them again and I can only hope that by doing so now I will bring a smile to your face.

So here I am, with so many thoughts and hopes for the future filling my mind that sleep is beyond me, attempting to remember faithfully what I once wrote. I pray these letters will find you well in the morning.


At the very bottom of the note, scrawled with black ink as though in afterthought there was a postscript:

In keeping with tradition, you will find something on the floor beside your bed.

Nessúlë did not care about the new gift at that moment. Instead, she looked through the letters, smiling over little phrases that had changed or had stayed wonderfully the same. But soon curiosity overtook her.

Setting the letters aside, Nessúlë leaned over the edge of the bed and looked for the new gift. She picked it up gently and brought it to lie across her lap, laughing as she did so. In her hands Nessúlë held a simple, elegant walking cane.

"Does this mean he will stop scooping me up at any moment?" she mused aloud, "...Most likely not."

Shaking her head Nessúlë slipped off the bed and used her new gift to walk carefully to the bathing room.


"Oloriel, you're positively amazing. I don't understand how you did it."

Nessúlë smiled over the baby in her arms, her eyes wide with unveiled wonder.

Oloriel, who was still abed chuckled softly and tried to readjust the pillow behind her back. "Of a truth, I was frightened half out of my wits. I'm not sure how I managed it myself."

When Oloriel had situated herself satisfactorily on the bed Nessúlë handed Arannon back to her. The new mother cradled her son eagerly against her breast. She was very content.

Nessúlë got up on the bed next to Oloriel and for a few moments the two elleth sat in friendly silence. After several moments Oloriel was the first one to speak.

"How do you feel about Elrohir?"

Nessúlë blinked and drew back from her reverie. "I... I enjoy his attention..."


"And... it feels so odd to say aloud."

Oloriel clucked her tongue lightly. "Come now, certainly you are not afraid to speak to me."

Nessúlë frowned. "I'm not frightened, I just... oh, very well." She readjusted her position and looked out the window. "I am drawn to him, I think."

"That's wonderful! Does he know?" Oloriel was grinning from ear to ear.

"Until I know that I love him I'm not going to tell him anything." Nessúlë spoke with resolve.

Oloriel cocked an eyebrow. "And what, pray tell, is keeping you from loving him?"

"How do you mean?"

"I mean, what is it that you find unlovable about him?"

Nessúlë frowned. "Well, nothing really. Nothing that couldn't be overlooked if-"

"And you are affected by him? To you he seems attractive?"

"Yes," Nessúlë answered cautiously.

"And you have always considered him a good friend - one who was worthy of your trust, respect, and affection, and who could meet your intellect and appreciate your opinions?" Oloriel rocked the baby to sleep as she spoke, but her attention was now focused fully on Nessúlë.


"Then what more do you need to know?" Oloriel smiled knowingly. "You are drawn to him. I had seen this before you ran away."

Nessúlë winced slightly at the reference for she still felt rather ashamed by her behavior.

Oloriel softened her tone. "You are worried that the solid, sensible, resolve that you are known for has somehow been circumvented by your sudden captivation. But think on it, Nessúlë. Every practical argument stands in favor of the match. All that is left for you is to listen to what your heart says."

Nessúlë sat very still for several moments, looking fixedly at the polished wood floor. Her thoughts were running at a dizzying pace and she had to make a concerted effort to shove them away. Reasoning was no longer going to do her any good - Oloriel had just demolished the obstacle of logic. What then was left? What did she want?

"Where is he?" Nessúlë whispered quickly.

"He told me you could find him by the river."


"I could hear you coming," Elrohir commented nonchalantly as Nessúlë came up behind him.

He sat upon a green sward of grass beside the Bruinen, a book resting unopened beside him. Nessúlë stood several feet back, having just descended a narrow path from one of the gardens above.

"I am not so light on my feet as I once was," Nessúlë murmured with a slight quaver in her voice.

Elrohir, concerned by what that tremor might mean, began to turn his head toward her, but she stopped him.

"No! Don't turn around, please. I... um, I would like it better if you did not."

Reluctantly Elrohir obliged her. He wasn't sure what this encounter was leading up to and it made him rather nervous.

"Could you... could you, perhaps, close your eyes?" Nessúlë asked softly.

Elrohir nodded his head, closing his eyes to the bright world around him. He did not particularly like the sensation. Elves did not sleep with their eyes closed - they loved the light.

Slowly Nessúlë approached, her injured leg damaging the usual grace of her movements. Elrohir could hear her nearing him, coming to stand beside him. He had the strong desire to look up at her but kept his features controlled.

As Nessúlë sat down beside him, Elrohir instinctively held his hand out to steady her. He heard her soft chuckle.

"I am well," she whispered as she situated her injured leg before her on the grass.

Elrohir was about to reply when he felt a touch on his arm. Nessúlë leaned in and spoke close to his ear.

"You are always looking for an excuse to hold me. Would you do so now? I want to know something."

For a few moments the Elf did not move, uncertain of how to react. Then, very carefully, he positioned himself so that his bent right leg was behind her and circled his arms around her waist, pulling her snugly against his chest.

"Like this?" he asked quietly.

Nessúlë sighed and wrapped her right arm around his neck. "Yes."

With her face lying against Elrohir's chest Nessúlë took a few moments to simply enjoy the feeling of his arms around her. And there was no denying that she did enjoy it. She also realized then that there was no folly in such enjoyment. By yielding to his embrace she was bringing happiness to one of the best, most nobles Elves she had ever known.

`You're also bringing happiness to yourself,' her little voice whispered.

Suddenly Nessúlë remembered the day that they had spent up on the ridge, when she had accidentally ended up in Elrohir's arms. Even then there had been rebellious feelings stirring in her heart, telling her that this was where she belonged, with Elrohir.

"I belong with the wind," she whispered, a smile tugging at her lips as she remembered her words from that day, "and I will revel in it."

As she said these words the entire world seemed to fall into place. She loved Elrohir. She had found where she belonged. No longer was she going to fight it or ignore it.

Elrohir's arms tensed. "You are leaving then?" he whispered hoarsely.

Nessúlë's head flew up. "Oh no! No, Elrohir, I will never leave you. No. I am not the wind. But I will bend in the wind and dance with joy. Elrohir, I will bend to you - I want you. I know I am slow and dim-witted and stubborn, but I have finally come to know myself. I belong here, with you."

Before the poor Elf could recover his faculties Nessúlë leaned in and placed a kiss on his lips.

Elrohir's lungs faltered as he felt his love's supple lips pressed against his own. There was a part of his mind that was screaming at the unfairness of it all, telling him that this was only a taunting dream. But this part was soon drowned out as Nessúlë's warm hand tilted his head to a more convenient angle.

Within moments Elrohir had abandoned all doubts and confusion, returning Nessúlë's caress with eager desire. His hand wandered up her back, tangling with her hair as he directed her head in turn, gently tasting her mouth from various angles.

When Nessúlë finally broke the kiss for want of air Elrohir let his mouth slide back along her cheek, nuzzling beneath her ear and taking in the warm fragrance of her hair. Nessúlë shivered as his breath hit her ear and Elrohir's arms instinctively tightened around her, then loosened as he opened his eyes and the bright world flooded in.

Lowering his head to rest against Nessúlë's shoulder, Elrohir closed his eyes once more and concentrated on taking steadying breaths.

"Do you love me?" he asked, laying a soft kiss on her neck even as he did so, as though to coax her into saying yes.

Nessúlë sighed contentedly into his hair. "Yes."

"Will you marry me?"



"Elrohir!" Nessúlë leant back and laughed, a blush rising up her cheeks. She tugged at the Elf's dark locks. "You're so silly; of course not now. The old ways are only used during times of darkness and uncertainty*, we can certainly wait to arrange a ceremony of some sort."

Elrohir looked into Nessúlë's eyes in the most endearing manner he could manage.

"Tonight then? I want you to be a part of me as soon as possible."

Nessúlë smiled. "I am a part of you already, Elrohir... I also wish for our joining as soon as possible, but I would like my brother to be here. He is the only family I have left on these shores."

"Fair enough," Elrohir conceded, "fair enough. But I require a boon of you for such a concession."

Smiling gently, Nessúlë leaned in against Elrohir's chest. "And what is that, my dearest friend?"

"Promise never to run away when you're angry, even if it's to the next room. I'm sure I'll be a frustrating Elf to live with at times, but be patient with me."

Nessúlë sighed. "How much trouble I put you through. Am I worth it?"

Elrohir tilted Nessúlë's chin up and placed a hungry kiss on her lips. "You are worth more than I shall ever be able to give."

"Than you may have your boon," Nessúlë replied quietly, "along with my heart."


1. No one has ever witnessed an Elven wedding ceremony. But it is known that some Elves simply have a "wedding night" ceremony. Since Elven marriage involves (as I know it) an actual binding of the souls it makes sense that two Elves wouldn't really need an officiator and witnesses to make their marriage official. If they agree to bind themselves to one another and seal it with a physical binding than it's done. However, I have also read that this practice would probably be most common during times when getting up a wedding ceremony just wasn't practical.

Things to Know:

Nessúlë: "young spirit"
Elrohir: "Elf knight"
Arannin (ah-RAHN-nin): "my noble gift"

elleth: "Elf (female)"

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