In Times Like These - Chapter 20--- A Twin Meeting

20: A Twin Meeting (June 8, 2003 to June 9, 2003)

{5 years later}

"Elladan!" Elen cried out as she ran to her godfather. His arms that reached out for her, swept her up into his arms and lifted her up in the air. Cradling her carefully in his arms, he held Elen close as she kissed him on the cheek and rested her cheek against his shoulder. "I missed you."

"I've missed you too, Elen," he murmured into her ear as he kissed her forehead. "So what do you want to do today? Ride? Explore? Read? Talk? What, tithen nin?"

She smiled at Elladan happily and lifted her head up to contemplate him with her pale blue eyes. The thoughtfulness of Elen's expression reminded him of someone far older than she. It amazed him sometimes at her depth of maturity, she was only eight winters old after all but she had this air about her that was much older. "Ride."

Elladan nodded and return her smile with a grin of his own. "Ride with me or ride alone?"

"With you," Glorfindel answered for his best friend for his daughter. "And do not think I do not know how you have let her ride by herself before. If I have told you once, I have told you before not to let her ride by herself. She is not ready for those horses that you ride. They are too powerful."

Elladan tilted his head toward Glorfindel to concede since he knew his friend was far too protective of Elen for his and her own good. But he wasn't about to contradict Glorfindel in front of the elf, he could do that behind his back. His twin, Elrohir had told him that he should just tell Glorfindel that he was being too cautious with Elen. But Elrohir hadn't seen Glorfindel with Elen. In fact, Elrohir hadn't even seen Nessa's child yet!

He still didn't understand why Elrohir couldn't find the time to see Elen. He sighed and placed Elen on top of his horse then swung up behind her. His twin was working himself so hard to forget about the past that Elrohir didn't have time to do anything. Elladan shook his head and waved goodbye to Glorfindel. "I will bring her back before the sun goes down, Glorfindel. You ought to go out and do something, consider it a free day."

Glorfindel shrugged, he really didn't mind spending all his time with his daughter; all his joy in life came from her.

But it had been a month since Elen had seen Elladan and he knew that his daughter really enjoyed the time she spent with her godfather. It was nice to hear her laught so carefreely. He did feel a twinge of jealousy that he couldn't make her laugh like that, but then again that special smile she reserved for him more than made up for that. Besides, he knew her better than anything else. What would she do without him?

"Don't wear her out!" Glorfindel warned as he waved at his daughter. "Have fun with Elladan, Elen."

"Bye, Adar," she whispered, blowing a kiss to him and smilng at him.

It was after they'd said their farewells that Elladan urged his stallion forward by lightly pressing against his flanks. The slight nudge was all that was needed to get his mount so surge into a controlled trot that was rather smooth before the horse sped up to a rocking canter. They continued on this soothing rhythm for about half an hour before they reached the waterfalls that Elen loved to take a dip in.

"Swim?" she questioned, her light sky colored eyes sparkled with her delight.

Elladan nodded and dismounted, holding his arms out to her to help her down. She fell into his arms and allowed him to pull her off the horse's back. "Do you want to swim?" he inquired. "If not, we can just sit down and talk a while. I have not seen you in quite a time period."

"Talk," she answered simply, walking over to her favorite part of the waterfall and sitting down gracefully. She pulled off her slippers and dipped her feet gingerly into the cool crystal waters. Elen waited until he sat down next to her before she spoke, "You told me about dreams." Elladan turned to her, looking intently into her eyes. "I had a dream."

"Would you like to tell me about it, Elen?" he asked softly. She didn't usually volunteer information to him even if they did `talk.' Their conversations were mostly Elen giving him one word comments to what he told her about his life. Whenever he heard her string two or three sentences together caused him to look at her twice. She wasn't a talkative child like a good deal of elven children were. She was almost always silent; it made her a terrific listener though.

"I saw an elf that looked like you," she reflected. "But he was not you."

Elladan blinked. He had mentioned that he had a brother, but he did not think he had ever mentioned that his brother was his twin; therefore, he looked exactly like him. Besides, why would Elen be having dreams of his brother when she had never met him? "How do you know it was not me?" he questioned softly.

"I do not know," she admitted truthfully. "It did not feel like you. He was holding someone and looking very sad."

"Do you remember anything else about the dream?" he asked. This dream of hers was perplexing. It reminded him of something, but he couldn't remember what it was. No matter, he'd figure it out and he might want to ask Elrohir about it when he returned to Rivendell later tonight. He was sure that his twin would be able to come to a conclusion of something.

She shook her head, resting it on his lap. "No. Tell me about Imladris."

He smiled, it was the same every time he came to visit. She always asked him to describe his home, since her father refused to take her there no matter how many times Elladan asked him. And since Glorfindel refused to go, he would not allow his daughter to go either. Elladan wished he could convince his friend, but to no avail. He sighed mentally and launched into a beautiful description of the beauty of Rivendell.

~

"Come with me to see Nessa's child," Elladan pleaded with Elrohir. "I do not see why you will not see her. I do not understand! You liked Nessa, and Glorfindel was one of your friends. Why will you not see her daughter? You have not even seen her, so you do not know if you like her or not!"

Elrohir glared at him from his desk where there are parchments littering the usually immaculate top. "I am too busy to go traisping around the countryside to see a child that means nothing to me. Ever since Glorfindel has moved closer, you have been shrinking your duties as Lord of Rivendell! You know in a few years we will be leaving Arda forever; we need to prepare for it! Every time I turn around you are running off to see Nessa's child."

"Glorfindel will not let her go anywhere near Rivendell," Elladan responded. "So I have to go to her and to him. He has to be lonely there by himself, but he says that he is all right as long as he has Elen. It will be good for her to know someone else besides her father and me. You were once pretty close to Nessa, what has changed? Elen is very much like the image of her mother. I thought that you liked her..."

"That is the point!" Elrohir cried out, his eyes flashing with more emotion than Elladan had seen in his twin for a long while. "And for some reason, I never saw Nessa as herself. She looked different, not anything like her. But there was something about her that reminded me of her. I cannot get her out of my head, and it has been years. Do you not understand? I am afraid Elen will remind me of her."

Elladan blinked. There was no mistaking who she was--- Anaire Istelile. "You need to get over her," he replied gently. "Elen is a beautiful child; she is striking. You were always better at reasoning with Glorfindel than I was. I want to take her to see places, experience more than the isolation that has surrounded her for her entire existence. You know that the elves are going to gathering in Gondor for Eldarion's twentieth birthday soon. It would be nice if we could convince Glorfindel to go with us to honor Estel's heir."

The look that Elladan read on Elrohir's face was not encouraging. But he pressed on anyway. "You have to let go of the past, brother. Anaire is gone, but there is still more in life to live. You should have gone with our grandmother and Haldir to Valinor. The light there would have done wonders for you. For you and our grandfather." It went unspoken between but both of them were concerned about Celeborn.

If it wasn't for Arwen and Estel, they didn't know how their grandfather would have fared. Half of the time, Celeborn was in Gondor with his great-grandchildren. It was good to see their grandfather smiling, but the brightness in his eyes had been erased since the death of his daughter, Anaire. But still, he was coping better than Elrohir was and certainly better than Haldir had been before his departure.

Neither Elladan nor Elrohir liked to think what would have happened to Haldir if he had stayed in Middle Earth. He would have died from a broken heart. There was no doubt about it, he'd been nearly close to fading as it was. Thank Elentari that Galadriel and company had decided to leave much earlier than planned. Watching Haldir go was harder than, Elrohir had thought it would be. After all, neither of them had been particularly close. Elladan and Haldir had been closer.

But it had been hard. They had grown close when Anaire had been ripped away from them. Close because they understood the turmoil the other was feeling, the desperation. Elrohir sighed and slumped against the back of his chair. It'd been one hundred long years, and yet he still thought about her constantly. It was hard to see her as only his sister, but if she had lived--- his sister she would be. How twisted fate was. How ironic destiny had to be.

"Please, Elrohir."

There had been a time when he hadn't been able to deny his twin when he used that particular tone. As they had grown older, it was still hard but not impossible as it had been when they were younger. But the tone combined with the pleading of Elladan's deep blue eyes wrenched his heart. "All right, I'll go."

~

He still had his reservations, but he allowed Elladan to drag him the next day to the modest cottage Glorfindel called home. While Eldarion's birthday celebration was months away, from the rants he'd been getting from his twin about Glorfindel's protectiveness of Elen--- it was going to take that long to wear down him to allow her to travel that great distance.

He sighed and dismounted when he heard a sweet voice cry out happily, "Elladan!" A blond girl-child streaked toward them and leapt eagerly into Elladan's arms. "I missed you!" She kissed him on both cheeks. "You said you were going to come back days and days ago!" She abruptly stopped chattering her greeting when she caught sight of him. Her light blue eyes stared at him with shock and then there was a hint of recognition. "You were the one in my dreams, the one with the sad eyes."

Elrohir blinked and shook his head with a vehement NO! How could he be in her dreams? Of course, it could not be him. She didn't know him, and besides he was a carbon copy of his brother. Well, he never quite had the smiling carefreeness that Elladan exuded, but still they were twins! She had to have been dreaming of Elladan. "You are mistaken," he responded in a steady voice. "You and I have never met."

He was expecting Elladan to back him up, but his twin instead questioned, "You had more dreams, Elen? What did you dream of this time? Can you remember anything else other than seeing Elrohir's face?"

She nodded solemnly, still staring intently at Elrohir. "He was holding a silver haired girl."

When she had said the word silver, Elrohir already knew who she was talking about. How had she known about her? How had she know about her, the one he would not name in his mind but who he thought of everyday? He was sure that Elladan hadn't told her, but while it was true that Nessa reminded him of her--- her child reminded her even more of her. It was almost striking how she looked at him was the same way she used to look at him.

"Anaire...?" he whispered the name he hadn't spoken since her lament. It hurt to say her name.

"Her name?" Elen questioned, looking at him then turning to get confirmation from Elladan. Her favorite person besides her father nodded his head gravely. That was indeed the name of the elven maiden that haunted Haldir, Celeborn, and his twin. "You loved her." It was not a question; it was a statement of truth.

"Yes," he answered simply. "I love her."

Elladan was struck by the depth of their brief exchange. He was even more stunned when Elen wiggled out of his arms, went to Elrohir, and placed a small hand on his cheek, tilting it down to her. She smiled sweetly up at him and whispered something to Elrohir that only his twin could hear. Elladan wished he could know what she said, but then again maybe it was better if he didn't, a tear streaked Elrohir's cheek and he turned his face away from Elen.

"Do you wish for me to speak to Glorfindel about Eldarion's birthday celebration while you and Elen do whatever it is you normally do?" Elrohir asked quite stiffly, as if he were uncomfortable with the situation. Elladan didn't blame his twin, the discerning Elen had was at times highly discomforting.

Elladan nodded and held out his hand to Elen. She took it and didn't even glance back as they made their way to her favorite tree in silence.

~

Weeks turned to months though Elrohir came with Elladan as often as he could spare, hisattemps to wear down Glorfindel's resistance to letting his daughter travel anywhere wasn't quite succeeding as he expected they would. But they'd finally broken the walls down and Glorfindel had agreed to let his daughter go with them to Gondor to celebrate Eldarion's twentieth birthday. Of course, Glorfindel had only agreed since he was going as well. He wasn't going to let his daughter travel anywhere without him, since the trip entailed a few months.

Even though Glorfindel had been exasperated when he'd agreed to go, the look of pure joy that swept over Elen's face when he told her they were going with Elladan and Elrohir to Gondor had more than made up for his irritation in giving in. She had planted kisses on his cheeks and had clung to him with her happiness, making her delight seep into him. Oh how he loved his daughter.

Now that it was time to go, he felt a pang of terror set in. What is she liked it in Gondor? After all, no matter how hard he tried to tell himself that she was elf born and elf raised--- she was still half human. What if her human half liked Gondor and wanted to stay there? He was afraid to lose her. No, that was an understatement, he was absolutely terrified of losing her.

"Adar?" Elen's soft and soothing voice echoed through the silent air. "Elladan and Elrohir are here."

Glorfindel nodded and gathered up what few possessions that they had, consciously aware that they didn't have much, feeling a twinge of regret that his daughter would not be as well dressed as the other elven children there. He sighed and wearily trudged out of their cottage. "Is there anything else that you want to take with us, Elen?"

She shook her head and took his hand into hers. "Did mum come from Gondor?"

Glorfindel nodded slightly. "She did," he finally answered in a choked voice. Though Elen rarely voiced her curiosity, when she did, it was a distinctive trait of her mother. Other than that, Elen was surprisingly different from her. More silent, more passive and detached, but affectionate in an abstract way toward those she cared about.

It still somewhat fascinated Glorfindel has quickly Elen had warmed up to Elrohir. It had taken his twin, Elladan years to get that kind of trust with Elen. But Elen had taken to Elrohir like a fish that had been taken out of water that had suddenly been granted its most desired wish--- to be placed back into water. It had annoyed Elladan at first, but that hadn't lasted. As twins, Elladan was use to sharing with his twin, but he had thought his relationship with Elen had been more special. Glorfindel grinned. It seemed Elen might prefer the younger to the elder.

"Does mum have family there?"

"She did."

"Are they still there?"

"I don't know," Glorfindel responded, but he did have the nagging suspicion that they were. After all, where else would they go? Nessa had been an only child like Elen was, and she had been very close to her parents. But by the time Elen had been born, Glorfindel had taken Nessa so far away to try and heal her that they'd lost contact with her parents. But he didn't doubt that they would recognize Elen a mile away if they saw her. While her color had faded over time, she still was very much the image of Nessa. "We will see."

"Greeting, friend," Elladan hailed them warmly, leaping gracefully off his horse. "Elen, did you miss me?"

"Yes," she answered softly, her eyes not resting on him, but on Elrohir who was leading one large horse and one small pony. "Pony for me?"

Elladan smiled and offered his hand, which she took. "For you," he confirmed.

Glorfindel glowered at his best friend. "I thought I made it clear she wasn't to ride."

"She's ten winters old!" Elladan exclaimed. Elen's birthday had come and gone two months ago. "This pony is a present from myself and Elrohir. The pony's gentle, she won't hurt Elen."

While Elladan and Glorfindel argued, Elen had moved over to the pony and started stroking her flaxen mane gently. Still mounted on his horse, Elrohir studied Elen with reflective eyes. He sighed and shook his head. He still couldn't get over how much Elen reminded him of her. The more he spent time with her, the more she reminded him of his past. His logical self denied it, but the illogical self wanted to believe it was her. There was only one way to find out--- which was why he'd worked tirelessly to get Glorfindel to let them take Elen to Gondor. Celeborn would know.

~

"Nessa's child?" came the elegant and regal voice of the Queen of Gondor, Arwen Evenstar. Even though Arwen had given up the immortality of their people, her beauty was unmarred and still shone with a radiance that many said was equal to the brightest star in the sky. "You are very much the image of your mother, tithen nin."

Elen smiled softly and bowed her head with respect. She had heard much about Arwen from Elladan and Elrohir. It had taken two weeks to reach Gondor, traveling swiftly though taking many rests along the way.

It was easy to tell from the way the twins spoke of Arwen how beloved their younger sister was to them. It was going to be hard for them when it came for Arwen's time to pass away. Very hard even harder for Elrohir more than Elladan Elen suspected. Elrohir was quite close to his sister, much like he'd been close to his other sister--- Anaire.

It had taken more than halfway through the trip before he had divulged the story to her about how the one he loved also happened to be his sister through a blood bond she'd taken with Arwen. From what Elen had gathered, while Anaire and Arwen had been close like sisters, Elrohir had shared something much deeper with the lost Anaire. She didn't know what, all he'd told her was the connection he shared with Anaire was through Arwen. It was a pity she couldn't get him to tell her more, there was something about Anaire that fascinated Elen, something that struck her interest more than was normal for her.

It was almost as if she knew Anaire. But that was silly, of course she didn't know Anaire, she had never met Anaire. And yet when she had met Elrohir, she had known him because of her dreams concerning him. Elen knew him very well, and had been able to get comfortable with him very quickly, while it had taken him quite a bit longer. It was like she had known him before.

"Her name is Elenestel?" Arwen questioned Glorfindel with a twinkle in her bright true blue eyes. "How suiting for such a beautiful girl." She opened her arms and moved to give the child a hug, but Elen was jolted out of her thoughts and when she saw Arwen reaching for her quickly backed up into her father.

When she had moved away, she'd remembered seeing Arwen before, but a younger her--- though the image that appeared in her head of Arwen didn't look any different from the lady that stood in front of her right now. The look that appeared on Arwen's features was reminiscent to something that happened a long time ago, but what? Elen cringed, it happened a very long time ago... whenever she got thoughts like these her head hurt incredibly.

She sagged against her father and immediately Glorfindel wrapped his arms around his daughter. "Another headache, Elen darling?"

She nodded barely as she closed her eyes, trying not to let the pain overwhelm her. Ever since she had had that dream of Elrohir, she had had brief flashes of intense pain in her head. It worried her father; it worried the twins too. After she had first seen Elrohir, she had had another one of those headaches, and subsequent visits had provoked more though not usually at the time of his visits. It was afterwards that it happened, when he was already gone. But she connected the pain to the visions that he invoked, and it seemed that he wasn't the only one.

"Do you have somewhere she can rest, Arwen?" Glorfindel questioned, worry evident in his voice. "She needs to sleep and then she'll feel better. I apologize that you will not be able to talk to her for a while, but she really needs to rest."

Arwen nodded with understanding and gestured to one of her ladies in waiting, giving quick instructions for them to lead Glorfindel and Elen to one of the guest rooms that had been prepared for the numerous elves that would be arriving for her beloved son's birthday. Watching them leave with studious eyes, she sighed at the memories seeing Elen had brought to her. Nessa had been a very unique woman, unique enough to catch her brother's eye and then unique enough to make the warrior from Rivendell fall madly in love with her. And Elen was the image of her mother.

"She reminds you of Nessa, doesn't she?" Elladan murmured throatily as he came to stand next to his sister. "Do you know who she reminds Elrohir of?" When Elrohir heard his name, he snapped his head toward their direction.

The quick way Elladan had caught Elrohir's attention intrigue Arwen. "Who?"

"Anaire."

~

Author's Note: I hope this isn't all weird. I like being able to make this creative, which is precisely the opportunity that has been afforded to me now. Hmmm... so many options for the love triangle... however do I choose?! So how do you like the infusion of Glorfindel and Elladan (well Elladan was already know, but NOW he has a personality ;P). Insightful reviews rock!

~

Thanks to Daughter_of_Estel, GondorBoromirBabe, Arenial, Lalaith-Elerrina, Shieldmaidenofrohan, lady_tinuviel, angel_elf, and nienna_telrunya (my beta, 3 cheers, but she exhausts me ,_,;.

Lady_Shinigami: Well, Elen knows nothing really about her human heritage, except that she's half mortal. She's only known three elves her entire life: Glorfindel, Elladan, and Elrohir. The trip to Eldarion's birthday will open up new doors for her.

Simplyyana: Thanks! Ha, I saw that wink--- is that a hint? He is being considered ,_~.

Iluvien: You did review on ff.net (wonderful you review both places lol and make great comments each time). Celeborn couldn't be the father as Galadriel is in Valinor. Legolas nor Elrohir were never in consideration to be the father nor was Haldir. I previously considered Aragorn + Arwen (as they have several daughters, but that would make her human) and Elladan (he nearly did become the father, but my plot assistant bunny suggested Glorfindel and from there TA DA! I came up with since Glorfindel is a reincarnation makes sense with the whole scenario ,____,.)

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