Liquid Diamonds

BY : Avgust
Category: +Second Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 808
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Tolkien's world (Silmarillion/Lord of the Rings/Hobbit), nor the characters from it. No money is made from the writing of this story.

On the second day since Glorfindel's arrival to the Greenwood, he had seen little more of Oropher than that first night's dinner and the one last time, when Oropher had shown his angered presence on the steps. Oropher had only dismissed him coldly, with eyes that derided and judged him. The rest of the encounters had only been from afar with no acknowledgement from the ruler of the Greenwood. Glorfindel wondered if today Oropher would finally give him the time of day. He pushed away the words that Thranduil had spoken to him about being patient and setting his actions with that of Oropher's pace. But Glorfindel could only frown with that logic. Sauron would not give them all the time that was required when one was dealing with Greenwood's King. Sauron was rising and the time to align was now.

Feeling a slight ache in his head and needing to unwind, Glorfindel let his thoughts meander to Thranduil, whose face came to vision within his thoughts. He could only smile. Funny how such troubling thoughts could so quickly subside when the image of his new friend crossed his mind. The good that was Thranduil was so refreshing to him, he who was in this strange forest of enchantment and deceit.

"Patience." He heard Thranduil whisper to him from afar, and Glorfindel stilled his racing thoughts in his meditation. Now finding himself sitting on the edge of his bed, he tried his best to find that very patience that was needed to work with Oropher.

But ever still, the knowing of just how important this meeting with Oropher was stirred him to wanting to take immediate action. He knew the threat to their people from Sauron was pressing. They had just not so long ago fought with Sauron's forces in the war against their kin. The pain and loss they had suffered was testament now that they all needed to put aside their differences and hurt which had resulted from the past. He had to find a way to convince Oropher to pledge his alliance with their High-King. Glorfindel knew Oropher was a good leader, smart and cared greatly for his people. And he knew that Oropher must know that they were not immune from the evil of Sauron. Although these people had nothing to do with the rings of power and seemed out of the Dark Lord's mind for the time being, soon, evil too would be knocking at their door. Glorfindel knew Oropher could sense it. That ever wary gaze that Oropher gave when that evil was mentioned echoed that very knowing.

As much as Glorfindel wished to think of other things, he could not shake the thought that meeting with Oropher and getting him to agree to align was of the upmost importance and urgency. This meeting had to commence without tarry. But then again the warning that Thranduil had whispered entered his mind, and he wondered if his haste and impatience might draw the king to anger. He wished he knew more about Oropher. Knowledge is power and leverage he knew. With what little he had learned he had found Oropher to be almost unreadable, and a strong formidable ruler who used his own will.

Glorfindel knew the task he had been appointed would be difficult at best and he knew he was considered amongst the wisest of the elves, mighty and noble. But Glorfindel also had reservations and his own inner doubts that sometimes rendered him into the strangest of moods that left him as a mere shadow of his usual self. He would have thought that with all his years he would have learned to control his emotions better that rendered him into these moods. His heart would fall into dissatisfaction until his reasoning even questioned the assessment that others had determined that he possessed; his courage, his valor, his wisdom and nobleness.

He had always been a complicated one, often setting his actions as one person while his mind and thoughts were of another. And his moods grew ever more complicated when his thoughts turned towards attraction to others. It was Thranduil he knew who was causing his confusion. Thranduil was enchanting, but with as much as he wanted to fully experience him, Oropher was the issue. It was the father, not the son, for whom Glorfindel needed to win over. And Oropher's distance and disregard were issues thus far making this task downright impossible.

Knowing that the day would not delay while he looped through his thoughts, Glorfindel readied himself for it. He had not yet gone for breakfast and he felt hunger this morning. Last night's dinner had been sorely lacking with any company as both Oropher and Thranduil had been absent. He had eaten with the company of one of Oropher's advisors, whose sobriety had made conversation almost impossible and his dryness made even the distant Erestor seem downright friendly and humorous. Glorfindel had to eat his dinner in mostly silence. His questions went unanswered, and his statements were returned with only dour stares. He wondered if the advisor's coldness was of Oropher's doings, and wondered if Oropher had even bothered to ask those closest to him to be friendly towards him.

Dinner had settled with unease and dissatisfaction which had in turned caused his dreams to torment him through the night due to his frustrations with the King of Greenwood. He understood fully now why the others had told him little of Oropher. Although both he and Oropher had lived during the First Age, he had been in Gondolin, while Oropher had dwelt in Doriath, the hidden secluded realm where the culture of mistrust and shunning the Noldor was the decree of King Thingol. Glorfindel was sure Oropher still associated the Noldor with the Kin-slaying and although Glorfindel had taken no part with it, he knew Oropher trusted him not. It was only natural that the other Sindar in this realm treat him with coldness, scorn and mistrust.

"Stay patient and positive." He chided himself for his impatience, rising from his bed.

This new day was about to begin. Just as the day before, he dressed himself as nice as possible hoping to elicit even a small bit of attention from Oropher. He remembered where breakfast was served and walked into the room. Galion was in there overseeing the layout of the breakfast plates. Galion's face was slightly blushed as he directed the organized chaos of the breakfast room. Glorfindel watched while he barked orders in that strange elvish tongue, moving the lines of elves into different directions. His clear brown eyes widened when he turned and saw Glorfindel. But to Galion's credit he composed himself quickly.

"Ah, Lord Glorfindel, my apologies. You are early. We have not finished setting your plate at the breakfast table." Galion hurried the other elves to move quicker, shooting an apologetic look to Glorfindel.

"It is quite alright Galion, I arrived early on purpose." He noted that once again just his plate was being set at the table. "I was hoping that the King would join me today for breakfast. Is he currently engaged today?"

"Ah, yes. Our King is still kept in dialogue today regarding our trades. He once again regrets he can not address the High-King's messages today."

Glorfindel again kept his face composed, his voice ever calm.

"And the prince?" Glorfindel was not sure why he had asked about Thranduil

"Thranduil?" Galion let his eyes meet Glorfindel's wondering why he inquired on the son of Oropher.

"Yes Thranduil. Is he also to be involved in the meetings today or will he be available to at least discuss some parts of why I traveled here."

"I do not know our prince's schedule today. I am his King's butler, so I really do not know Thranduil's business or what he has planned. I do not believe he will be present for the meeting today, however."

The elves had finished with setting the breakfast plates, and Galion motioned for Glorfindel to take his seat. Just as with the morning before, Galion accepted Glorfindel's request to dine with him. They chatted more easily this time, with carefree talk about the walk they had the day before.

Despite the mistrust that Oropher had with this visitor, Galion found that he liked Glorfindel. He was polite and witty, his humor was refreshing and he treated him as more a cohort than a servant in Oropher's house. What troubled Galion about Glorfindel however, was the budding interest that shared between him and his prince. Despite Oropher's request, Galion decided to turn a blind eye to their budding attraction. His love and loyalty to Thranduil was stronger than any order from Oropher. The same friendliness and warmth that Glorfindel had, Thranduil too shared with him, even taking him as his close friend.

Glorfindel was pleased that the lovely Galion seemed more lighthearted and at ease in his presence. The breakfast went by quickly and as it ended, Glorfindel suddenly looked at Galion wondering what to do with his day. During breakfast he had divulged that the meeting Oropher would be attending today was not scheduled until the afternoon. He wonder if perhaps he could find Oropher this morning to at least get his own meeting scheduled with him. If he could just get Oropher's attention on the matter, Glorfindel thought his restlessness would be settled, for the moment.

He excused himself from Galion, stating that he wished to sit outside in one of the forest gardens he had seen. Although Galion had raised a curious eyebrow, he let Glorfindel go without saying a word.

Of course Glorfindel felt bad for misleading Galion but he knew that he would try to deter him from this idea. He'd go sit in the gardens afterwords to at least be true to his words. First he wanted to see to his task of finding the evasive Greenwood King. With just the few days he had been in Greenwood, Glorfindel had seen Oropher often turn down a certain hallway and thus he thought it would be best to start at this corridor in his attempts to find him.

Glorfindel had turned down many halls in his walk, passing door after door until he reached another corridor with stairs that led up and down. Glorfindel sighed and decided to head upwards, climbing the steep steps that wound upwards. On the next level he passed into a hall that was beautiful to his eyes. The hall had soaring archways with walls that had big wide windows producing vistas of the grand forest around them. Glorfindel instantly liked this spot and wondered if this could be the corridor that led to Oropher's rooms.

"And why would the Lord Glorfindel be standing in the halls that house my father's counsellors?" Thranduil had again approached him unheard, his bright face smiling in this brand new morning. "If you are seeking them out, I can tell you that they have already left for their morning meetings with the King."

"So Oropher is indeed engaged again all day today." Glorfindel mused aloud, knowing that Thranduil already knew his aim.

"You seek Oropher." Thranduil laughed a little, shaking his head. Glorfindel was willful and stubborn and Thranduil wanted to teach him some patience.

"My friend, walk with me." Thranduil motioned for Glorfindel to follow him. He led him to another corridor with a grand spiraling staircase.

"This is my favorite area of my father's halls." Thranduil started speaking, leading him into a room that was opened into a large balcony, a platform where the views of the forest provided it from all around. The wind was gentle, and the sun was pleasant as it started its assent higher into the pale blue sky. They seated themselves on a bench, since it was evident that Thranduil had words he wanted to speak with Glorfindel.

"I apologize that I was not present for dinner last night. " Thranduil decided an explanation to his new friend was in order. "There was an unexpected incident on our southern borders and of course I was required to be present when our guards gave their report. I hope your dinner was pleasant enough?"

"I do hope all is well." Glorfindel noticed that Thranduil nodded in response to his statement. "Dinner was pleasant enough, although I have to admit your presence was sorely missed."

"You flatter me, my friend. Now…" Thranduil grew ever graver in his tone.

"I would not recommend your course of action. Let Oropher come to you. The importance of this alliance demands your patience. In the years that have passed since Doriath fell, my father has little relented in his distrust of the Noldor. But I see him looking to the east, I hear him whisper of that evil that is growing. Most of his counsellors believe that the dark lord will overlook these lands, but Oropher knows this can not be true. I have to believe that he will join in the fight against this growing malice. I honestly believe one elven people should unite for our freedoms. And this will come to pass if you can get Oropher to fight under the High-King. But he can not be forced or pushed into alliance. He must come to act on his own terms."

Glorfindel had to agree, and he remembered how Elrond had requested that he seek Thranduil out. "Your words ring with such wisdom and foresight, Thranduil. I understand now why Elrond beseech that I seek you out. I do need to act with more thought and patience. Thank you for reminding me of that."

Thranduil laughed when he thought of Elrond. "Elrond thinks that highly of me, even after all of these years?" He seemed to let his mind travel to another time, and Glorfindel could see it was good memories that sparkled in the depths of his emerald eyes.

"How well do you know Elrond then?" Glorfindel was a little curious about their history. Elrond had told him nothing of the past with Oropher or Thranduil, and Erestor as well had stated nothing about it.

"Well," Thranduil ran a finger over his bottom lip, as he tried to think of where to begin.

"We both lived in Lindon at the beginning of this age, of course before my father traveled eastward. I resided in the south, in Harlond, and he to the north in Gil-galad's court. I had an interest in the healing arts, and as such, I dwelt in Farlond for a time, and it was during my studies that I had first met Elrond. Although we studied side by side, we did not speak much beyond the subject that we were studying."

Thranduil smiled at the memory, before he continued. "But then Gil-galad had sent him once to discuss matters that concerned Harlond. Erestor came as well with him. I remember that particular time with him, because Elrond had been so troubled. We spent a whole day conversing, and I did my best to lighten his mood. It was during that day that I learned so much about him....."

Thranduil suddenly stopped, not really caring much to discuss Elrond further. He closed his eyes, and a frown now crossed his face, as his thoughts suddenly meandered to another topic that was spinning in his mind.

"Maybe I could get my father to at least agree to dine with you tonight." His thoughts moved back to the High-King's business, his heart was heavy again with the dark of his dreams. He did not fight where his thoughts now drifted, back into the nightmare that had woken him up. That last night, he again had that forbidding dream:

The day had been full of strife before a marshy field. Shadow figures moved together in a death dance until the night descended on them. A blood moon rose over him, the lone standing person who had survived the fight. He was alone he knew, although the dead lay around him. Faceless figures of monsters, gnarled and grotesque hindered his movements. He kept walking not really sure where he was going until the cold-blooded light of the moon led him to a path. And there again as his dreams always led him, were the lantern bodies he knew so well. He was in a trance and in his dream he looked down into the lifeless green eyes, flowing silver-hair, staring deep until the lips moved, calling out his name. "Thranduil."

He had awoken, the bright moon was still high in the sky. He shook the dream from his mind, casting it out as quickly as he could. He had sat long in the late night, sitting atop this very spot where he and Glorfindel now sat and watched a glorious sunrise. That dream had left him worried, disheartened and troubled with the knowing that he could little control or change the outcomes of the vision. That knowing without the power to stop the events left him disenchanted, and restless.

Glorfindel's melodic voice pulled him back to the present, his green eyes looked into Glorfindel's blue orbs.

"Where did you go just now?" Glorfindel asked with concern.

"Ah, Glorfindel, I was simply lost in a reverie. Still it is too early for my mind to wander."

Thranduil gave his friend a reassuring smile. "I can only stress again how important it is to see that your task does not fail. You certainly can break through to my father, for I worry that if you do not, ruin will come to our people." His green eyes seemed to ponder, while he deliberated on his next words.

"As you know, Oropher is just as concerned as Gil-galad is with the aggressive and strong threat of the Dark Lord. I have no doubt that our King will challenge him. What brings me to worry is that if we do not align, our isolation will cause us death beyond reprieve."

Glorfindel took Thranduil's hand in his own, squeezing it a little knowing his words stemmed from the dark dreams he had. "I will do everything I can to ensure an alliance. I would not have your fears come to pass."

A smile now replaced the worry that had been etched across Thranduil's face. Again the usual sparkle deep within his eyes returned, repossessing the frosty dark emerald stones that had showed his distress. The two looked at one another, and as if each could reach each others thoughts the two spoke in unison.

"What will we do today?"

Laughing, Thranduil bid Glorfindel to rise. "You have seen much of the forest and although there is ever more to see, that will be saved for another day."

"So no more trekking around the forest today?"

Despite the beauty of Greenwood, Glorfindel was a little glad that his day would be spent in another activity.

"No, I do not believe so. You have been traveling and walking around much of yesterday so perhaps a day of leisure will be good. Would a game interest you perhaps?"

"A game?" Glorfindel had to admit the idea was appealing and sounded good to him. With Thranduil's dark dreams, and the annoyance he felt from the Greenwood King's disregard of him, the two needed some fun this day. "

Are you thinking archery or swords? Or maybe something like chess or cards?"

"Either one is fine with me, so as our guest, the choice is all yours." Thranduil turned the decision back to Glorfindel.

"I would very much like to test my skill against yours in a game of chess, my friend." Glorfindel challenged Thranduil, who raised an eyebrow  with his amusement.

"Most certainly then, please follow me, if chess is what you desire." Down the spiral stairs and through more halls, Thranduil led Glorfindel. The design was maddening to him as he knew he could easily become lost within the massive citadel. A hall he had not seen before they now passed through which led then to a wooden door that Thranduil opened.

"This is my sitting room." Thranduil explained. "Now, since the day is so beautiful I think it would be criminal for me to keep you shut inside."

He grabbed two chairs and took them out onto his balcony, setting them down on the wooden platform. He then came back into the room to see that Glorfindel had already grabbed the chess table and with amused eyes he watched him cary it outside onto the balcony.

"I have to say I also agree. This is a perfect setting for our match, although I do hope that the beauty of your forest does not keep me too distracted."

"I am sure you will fair just fine, my friend." Thranduil held a velvet pouch from which he pulled out the different chess pieces. He placed them with an almost elegance on the board, arranging them in their rightful places.

They seated themselves ready to play, both staring at each other, wordlessly wondering just what sort of game this would turn out to be. Thranduil motioned for Glorfindel to make his move first, and he watched under lidded eyes as Glorfindel selected his piece before making his move.

"Something will just not leave my mind." Thranduil stated when he moved his chess piece, his emerald eyes demanding Glorfindel's attention.

"And what is that, my friend?" Glorfindel paused a little, more interested in the question more so than his next move.

Thranduil continued on, eyes still on Glorfindel, not really caring what move the other would make on the chess board. "That first day I saw you, I noticed a spark of recognition in your eyes. We have never met before, so tell me, what was that light I saw in your eyes?"

Glorfindel finally made his move and wondered what Thranduil would think of his dream. "That is a strange question you ask, however, the response is even stranger still."

"How so?" Thranduil was fully intrigued now, and made his next movement with very little thought. His green eyes were glued on Glorfindel, sparkling bright with his intrigue.

Glorfindel tried not to laugh at this most strange game of chess. He was use to the serious Erestor who pondered and analyzed until the other knew exactly what moves Glorfindel would next make, even before he, himself did. Erestor hardly spoke when they played, more intent on the analyses of the game than on conversation. But Thranduil played a different way, seemingly more interested in him and in chat, barely paying any mind or thought to the game before them. He continued, answering the question that Thranduil had asked.

"On my journey to the Greenwood, one night I was not weary so I thought of this forest. I let my mind go over it, trying to imagine what greatness it held. And then I am not sure why, as if cast under an enchantment, I fell into sleep. I dreamt of the Greenwood. And in that dream I saw the deep green leaves that as if out from them, drawn to life, eyes that shone like jewels and hair as bright as Ithil's silver glow. Somehow I dreamt of you, as if you had cast yourself into my dreams. But surely you could not come to someone's dreams for whom you have never met before?"

He looked deep into Thranduil's eyes, who did not answer in his smile. "Still, somehow I can not shake my thoughts that it was you." Glorfindel added to his statement that he had suspected that it was Thranduil who had cast that dream into his mind. Glorfindel then continued with the game, eyes darting back on Thranduil however.

Thranduil kept his silence for awhile, as if waiting for the right time to respond to the words Glorfindel had just spoken. He brushed his finger against his chest piece, but paused before gripping it.

"Would it not surprise you if I told you that it was the forest that gave you the vision? The forest is an enchantress, and seems as well would have your mission come to pass. I do not think she wants her people harmed." He suddenly looked down at the board, as if he suddenly perceived that a chess game was commencing.

"The forest." Glorfindel mused aloud. Greenwood indeed had called to his soul, sharing with him a vision of an ally, a kindred spirit for whom the forest shared a deep connection with. "It makes perfect sense to me, actually. I am learning day by day just how powerful this forest is."

"As with any power, it draws its strengths from the good of the earth. If evil ever threatens it, I fear the forest will take on a different character all together, as if it may yet embrue a different more frightening master."

"You think the forest could fall into shadow?" Glorfindel was alarmed a little with the forbidding cryptic words that Thranduil had spoken.

"Ever northward we have moved, and that threat has not yet reached these lands. But our eyes can not be everywhere at once, even if the forest cries with what may come to pass." Thranduil moved his piece again, smiling with a wicked grin to his visitor.

"Game over." He watched as Glorfindel studied the pieces on the board, before his eyes looked back at Thranduil's, nodding his head with his acknowledgment of defeat.

"Well played, my friend. I had not even noticed your strategy there." Thranduil had been so deceptive when he played, seemingly detached from the game and unfocused in his aloofness. "I would like to see you matched against Erestor in a game of chess."

"Ah Erestor, yes I did play against him once. I lost a whole night playing chess with him."

"Well, who won?" Glorfindel was very intrigued now. Erestor was the most skilled chess player he knew, but Thranduil was so deceptive and distracting, and Glorfindel thought, could have easily unnerved even the serious Erestor. 

Thranduil ran through his memories, trying to pull that detail back into his knowing. "My friend, I simply cannot pull that memory of who was the victor and who was not. Perhaps we did not finish, perhaps we did. I am sure Erestor can tell you this however, when you return to your home."

"I suppose I shall have to ask him." Glorfindel laughed back, really not surprised that the strange elf could not tell him that rather important detail regarding who had won.

Thranduil then looked up at the sky and he noticed the sun's position was in the noon hour and the mid-day meal was soon to be served. "It is almost time for lunch now."

They moved the chairs and chess table back and made their way to the dinning hall with much conversation and laughter.

Glorfindel nodded knowing that Thranduil was right, surprised a little with just how quickly the morning had passed them by. "And will we lunch outside again?" Glorfindel had to ask.

Thranduil seemed to ponder a little while he thought of where he could take Glorfindel. He knew Glorfindel's day was free, and since he had been relieved from his duties for the time being, the afternoon was free to him as well. There was always a small hike through the forest but he had already done that with him just yesterday. But the more he thought about it, the more appealing the thought became, away from the eyes of his father's counsellors and the others who were so wary of Glorfindel. And then it dawned on him.

"Yes, we will eat our lunch outdoors today. And I know I told you we would not venture through the forest, but I want to take you to our glades. There is an area I wish to show you." He beckoned for Glorfindel to follow closely, his long slender fingers moving like the breeze through the trees, luring him to walk beside him.

They reached the kitchens and Thranduil darted in.

"Prince Thranduil!" The head cook cried out, her voice full of surprise. "What are you doing in my kitchen?"

The cook, whom Glorfindel could tell had lived an age, was a pretty brunette with a youthful cheery face. Her hair was tied back, and she had a little flour on her checks, as she had been baking bread. She crossed her arms now, expecting an answer from Thranduil, but despite her annoyance, she smiled a little.

"Please pardon my intrusion. I just come for the lunch satchel and for some wine." He smiled his most charming smile to  her, who handed him one of the already packed lunch-satchels they kept which had bread, nuts and berries.

"And your two goblets." She handed them over to Glorfindel since Thranduil was busy with the selection of the wine.

"Why thank you." Thranduil inclined his head in departure, having Glorfindel follow him out of the citadel and into the forest. 

"It is just a quick walk to where we are going." Thranduil explained, knowing that if it were him who was visiting Greenwood, he would want to see all the wonders of the forest. "I am taking you to the glades nearby, with wide open fields within the forest, rolling with waves of green grasses. I am hoping the sights will be pleasant this afternoon."

And true to Thranduil's words the forest opened up not too far from the citadel. Glorfindel gathered they had walked no less then thirty minutes. The fields were as Thranduil described, wide and expansive with tall green grass and wild flowers, opening up under a gentle blue sky with billowy clouds.

"This is our lunch spot today." Thranduil explained, lifting his face to the warm early summer sun and the clear tranquil day. He felt his spirit soar with the beauty of the land and hoped that Glorfindel as well could commune with the spirit of their forest.

The strong early summer sun had dried the earth from the storm that had passed by yesterday. Satisfied with a spot they seated themselves on the soft grass and watched as the wind blew across, sending the field before them in a rolling ripple as a gentle wave. Thranduil poured their wine and served the content of the packed lunch. They ate in silence, enjoying the day, eating and drinking under the gentle summer sun.

"I think the Valar did send you." Thranduil suddenly mused aloud, pausing his words when he heard the bewildered laughter from Glorfindel.

"No." He continued, finding the need to explain his logic. "With all the troubling news and the ever growing threat from our enemy, here you come, and I find myself suddenly more light-hearted and my soul is less weary."

Glorfindel raised an eyebrow, surprised that Thranduil now spoke as one who had lived through an age and had seen the bloodshed that took his home from him. Suddenly to Glorfindel, Thranduil very much seemed the same spirit as Oropher, fair face grave and dour.

"Sometimes the days go dark for me and even the fair beauty of this forest can not settle my mind, as if such duplicity has dividid my soul." Thranduil swirled the liquid in his wine goblet as he spoke.

Glorfindel knew the words Thranduil spoke were wrought within their immortality, both a blessing from the Valar but ever their one great curse and torment. The long years passed to them as if in the blink of an eye, but if ever their minds tarried on their grief, the days moved as if years. Time would slow until nothing else could be perceived. How he knew the tug of wanting serenity and peace, but knew they would have none as long as the dark lord was free to roam their lands.

"I believe this as well." Glorfindel smiled to Thranduil, trying to ease his weary soul.

"I very much believe we can unite and bring down the darkness that keeps the peace away. What little part I have that the valar has seen that I play, I gladly give it my all. I will not let Oropher's reluctance or stubbornness best me. I will remain steadfast and persistent. And until your father sees to have me in council, I will take my comfort in your company. I find I count you as a friend now and I am cherishing this time with you." The words Glorfindel spoke were true, not exaggerated. Thranduil simply was unlike any other he had met in al his long years.

Thranduil smiled genuinely, as he let the beauty of the one before him, and the spot in which they dined engross his senses. "Once again, I find myself relaxed by the goodness of your words and the sparkle in your clear blue eyes."

Thranduil found himself now wanting to flirt with Glorfindel, not really caring if his father would oppose or if he were unworthy of an interest from the other. Suddenly, wanting to make their lunch more pleasant, Thranduil decided to lighten the subject.

"Have your eyes been sung their praise?" Thranduil jested a little, sipping again his wine, letting his eyes sparkle with the glow of his seduction.

"Well," Glorfindel was amused with the strange question, wondering what journey they would go on this time with the tangents of Thranduil's mind.

"They sing of my might and valor and of how I brought a Balrog down, but I am afraid I have been grievously wronged to have no songs that praise my eyes." He laughed, giving into the conversation, allowing himself to relax with the good of the company, wine, and the peace in the emerald meadows that stretched around them.

"I speak of serious matters, my friend." Thranduil pouted a little. "The wood elves here are known for their songs and will sing the praise of most anything, so I would wonder if songs are sang about your eyes."

"And what would the songs say about my eyes?" Glorfindel leaned back onto the grass, finding it beyond surreal that he was in the Greenwood, discussing his eyes with Thranduil instead of back in Imladris, seeing to the protection of the valley and helping with the counsel of his Lord. But he knew this was where he was most needed now, and with Oropher refusing to speak with him, the company that Thranduil offered was most welcome.

Thranduil settled down beside him, stomach against the cool earth, eyes peering over into Glorfindel's eyes before he spoke.

"Deep azure oceans crashed against the shore. They reached out beyond the planes of time, etched like a memory that was never meant to be. For when I looked into the sapphires, shining as the ice in winter, I too could find no reprieve."

Thranduil stopped speaking, knowing his words were not worthy of the beauty held in those eyes. The splendor of Glorfindel's eyes could never be described with the limitations of words. So he instead could only paint his empty longing, for he knew that a love between them could never be.

 Thranduil did feel a little silly, trying to seduce Glorfindel with words as if he was a young maiden and he himself a youth. But Glorfindel was a lord, a mighty fabled warrior and he was the son of Oropher, for whom all the Noldor knew held little love for them.

"I like your words, Thranduil." Glorfindel noted the longing in the words and had to agree, although with sadness, that the attraction he felt towards Thranduil could not come to pass. As seductive and attractive Thranduil was, with the balance of the alliance still open to debate with Oropher, Glorfindel knew he could not jeopardize the task he had been sent on. He rejected the tug of the shining emerald eyes that beckoned and called to his soul.

"Tell me." Glorfindel decided to ask the same question to Thranduil. "Do they sing of your eyes here?"

Thranduil's laughter told Glorfindel nothing. And Thranduil did not answer the question, but instead rolled onto his back moving his gaze on the rolling clouds above.

"And I would ask you, Glorfindel, what would the songs say about me?"

Glorfindel sat up, thinking a little. Now a great warrior Glorfindel was, and blessed he even was with a great voice, but he was not a minstrel and had never composed poetry before. Still, he would give the description of Thranduil's eyes his best shot.

"Well," he began. "I believe they would sing of how they shine like jewels, reflecting bright the soul of the forest, of the green leaves that capture the sun, shining vividly, but also casting down shadows, hiding secrets beneath the surface…."

Glorfindel paused now, unable to break his gaze from Thranduil, whose eyes were wicked now and seductive, calling to him and casting into his mind his desire. He had to close his eyes, not wanting to continue with this dangerous game Thranduil seemed to want to play with him now.

Thranduil only sighed, knowing the trepidation Glorfindel battled with not wanting to anger Oropher further. He decided to let this game drop for the time being. He would keep working on Glorfindel, until desire was something he could no longer resist. Thranduil could understand why Glorfindel cared not to follow him with his flirtation. He had the fate of the elven alliance in his hands. If Gil-galad wanted the Sindarin Kings of the Silvan elves to join them, he would have to win over Oropher. And winning over Oropher was no easy task.

But an even harder task was that of not falling for Glorfindel. And try as hard as he wanted, Thranduil knew he simply could not resist. There was no use in fighting it. Glorfindel had captured his heart now.

The two sat and chatted through much of the afternoon, content in the peaceful glades. They conversed about the events that had befallen Ost-In-Edhel and how the dark lord threatened their very existence. As much as they wanted to keep the conversation light, the gravity of their predicament could not be erased from their minds. Long they talked and the topic moved to the tale of the Balrog slaying. Thranduil was most amused to actually hear the event from the one who had famously brought down the beast. When Glorfindel spoke of his death and the Halls of Mandos, Thranduil suddenly grew somber, thinking of his own mortality that kept resurfacing in his dreams. But he listened on, still intrigued by the words of the incredible elf who told the stories, engrossed with his words.

They continued their conversation as they headed back to Oropher's citadel. They passed quickly even as Anor disappeared. Dusk descended on the Greenwood like a heavy veil that wrapped the forest ever deeper into the folds of its darkness. Only the flickering of the fireflies and the faint elvish lanterns lit their path through the maze of ancient trees, whose voices whispered tales of an age ago in their leaves and branches.

Although the land was strange, as one of the Eldar, Glorfindel could commune with the trees. He listened to their lore of Lenwe, the ancient King whose spirit lingered ever, bound as a shadow refusing to depart this arcane forest to Mandos' Halls, as if his will was forever bound to the trees and creatures. Even as the trees whispered, Glorfindel had to force his attention to their words, instead of his gaze that kept moving back to Thranduil, who was cast in the shadow of the night.

"Do you know if I am required to dine tonight with your king?" Glorfindel suddenly mused aloud, curious though if Thranduil knew.

"My father likes to dine at sunset, so his meal would have already started. He stated nothing about any dinner plans however." Thranduil knew Oropher was only playing his games with Glorfindel, trying to drive his patience to ruin, hoping that in his frustration, he would snap. Oropher could then drive him away from the Greenwood. Thranduil could only just sigh to himself as he thought about his father's whims. He was glad Glorfindel said nothing as he wanted not to talk further about Oropher.

As they drew closer to the citadel, they could hear the distant elven voices singing, voices ringing like bells deep into the forest around them. The words were in that ancient Silvan tongue, which to Glorfindel's ears sounded elegiac, and so poignantly beautiful. He stopped to listen, letting the moving melodies and harmonies stir his soul. The song sounded as a lament, although its meaning was lost to him.

"The sing for the memory of Lenwe, for this is the anniversary of the day he was seen last." Thranduil stood next to his new friend, regarding Glorfindel's interest in their lore.

"Ah, so that explains the Greenwood's whispers of her ancient King." He turned his head to Thranduil's gaze. Thranduil seemed sad, as if he too were lamenting. But for what, Glorfindel knew not.

"Well," Thranduil chose not to comment any further. "I will take my leave for the night. Galion will see to your dinner."

Without another word, Thranduil left Glorfindel, who stood for a moment, watching him enter the citadel. He pondered a moment of the strange behavior, but he knew that Thranduil had devoted a great deal of time to him these last couple of days. Also feeling the need to unwind, Glorfindel headed to his rooms.

"My lord." Galion's rich words rang in the hall. "There is a plate for you in the dinning hall." Galion approached from behind, until he stood in front of Glorfindel.

"Thank you, Galion, but I find no hunger this evening." Glorfindel just did not have the heart to dine amongst the Greenwood elves this night..

"As you wish." Galion replied, as he was use to this strange foreign guest now. "Is there anything I can do or get for you that you may require?"

Glorfindel's gentle turn of his head told Galion that he appreciated his hospitality but nothing more was needed, before he too retreated to his room for the night.

Galion watched Glorfindel turn from the guest wing before he disappeared. Since Glorfindel had been his last duty for the day, he now was free for the remainder of the night. Thinking of the only thing he wanted to do, he headed towards the resident wing, climbing to the level where Thranduil's room was housed. He walked with a brisk pace, eager to seek out his friend this night. It didn't take the tall Galion long to reach Thranduil's door.

"Galion!" Thranduil appeared beside Galion, who jumped a little, startled that Thranduil had moved beside him unheard.

"I am glad to see you." Thranduil motioned for him to enter his room. "Now, you just take a seat right there." He pointed briefly at some chairs, "and I will be right back." He finished his statement before disappearing into his bedchamber.

Galion had long ago learned of Thranduil's eccentricities, so he wasn't surprised to hear him changing in the other room. The sound of boots being tossed, and other garments being thrown on the ground echoed from the other room. Galion even smiled a little, while he poured himself and Thranduil goblets of wine before he seated himself on one of the chair's that Thranduil had pointed to.

He sipped his wine alone, while he wondered what delayed Thranduil. Straining his hearing, he listening to the sounds coming from the other room. Curious, he got up and peaked in, just as Thranduil entered the room from his wash room. Thranduil was clad only in a loose night robe, his hair dripping wet since he had just washed it. He dried it with a a towel, grinning at his friend who stood in the doorway.

"I smell wine." Thranduil walked past Galion, who followed Thranduil back into his sitting room.

Galion was pleased that Thranduil praised his selection of wine this night. "How was the Lord Glorfindel today?" He asked Thranduil, who was already pouring Galion another round of wine.

Thranduil raised a curious eyebrow at Galion's question, but didn't pursue why he inquired. He answered with vague details about their walk through the forest to the glade, their picnic there, and the lone game of chess. Thranduil poured himself another glass of wine and studied Galion. He wondered if perhaps he was falling as well for Glorfindel. Ever the prodding type, Thranduil leaned back in his chair, letting his bare legs and feet dangle over the side.

"Are you seeing anyone lately?" He curved his lips into a smile, drinking his wine with silent sips.

Galion sat his wine goblet down, trying to mask his thoughts and emotions. "No, I have not."

Galion had only just a year before lost his girlfriend when she had broken up with him. The elleth had fallen for another, a tall messenger from Lorien, who often made visits to the Greenwood. Galion had been heartbroken, but Thranduil had been there to console him, true as a good friend does. Their friendship was ever platonic, and although Thranduil was prone to flirting and casting his charm on others, he had never once turned his desire to him. Instead he always acted as a friend or brother.

"A whole year has passed, and am I left to believe your heart has not yet yearned for another?" Thranduil looked concerned for his friend, who was in his opinion too absorbed in his work as butler to the king.

Taking another drink, Galion chucked a little, feeling the strong wine play with his wits. "I have not. Not a single elleth in all of Greenwood could ever compare to her."

"Why limit yourself then?" Thranduil stated while he topped his wine off before it ran dry. He noticed a slight blush paint Galion's checks, something he had never seen before from his unusually private friend. Galion had always been a master at masking his deepest thoughts, even to Thranduil who read most people like open books. He felt a ting of jealousy rise in his core, but it quickly dissipated. So Galion had fallen too for Glorfindel. He frowned within. Galion was a most stunning elf, and although Thranduil had never felt attraction to his friend, many of the Greenwood people did. He raised his eyebrow, starring intensely at his friend, letting Galion know that he fully expected and answer to his question.

"Well, when you put it that way, my search did just get much more easier." Galion giggled, his Silvan carefree mirth finally breaking through his usual controlled facade. "But I am not the type most would look on with great yearning. I am mostly silent and cherish solitude when I can ever find it. Surely most would find me most dull."

"Nonsense." Thranduil shook his head, letting his still damp hair dangle back behind the chair he was sitting on. "I know for a fact that you, Galion, have caught many eyes in Greenwood. I would have thought that you were more astute to see that." He curled his toes before stretching out his legs. He then let them dangle back down over the side of the chair. "You need to relax. See how you now sit there so prim."

Galion did note how his posture was upright and rigid, even as Thranduil, who was nobility, casually lounged wearing an almost revealing night robe with damp unruly hair. Galion leaned back on his chair, letting his friend's words and the wine relax his body and his mind. His facial muscles softened and to Thranduil, Galion had never looked so handsome. Galion could be trouble if the Lord Glorfindel were to see his beauty. But then again, Glorfindel was proving to be a strong one with willpower beyond the likes Thranduil had ever come across before, matching even that of Oropher's. None of his charms seemed to turn Glorfindel from his task at hand.

"Do you know what your day will bring tomorrow, Thranduil?" Galion asked, his words more slurred now in a tug of wine fatigue. Leaning his head back onto the chair, he smiled wide, and stretched his long legs before him, sitting more relaxed than he had ever done before within Thranduil's chambers.

"I really do not know, now that Oropher has pulled me from the outer patrol. I know the post was only temporary, but I did not expect such an abrupt end to my life as a guard. I have to admit, Galion, that I immensely enjoyed the freedom out there with the long days patrolling the forest…." Thranduil stopped speaking, as he heard the gentle breathing of a now sleeping Galion.

Thranduil rose, shaking his head before he went and helped Galion into his bedchamber. Galion seemed little fazed by the short and clumsy walk, and quickly feel back into slumber on Thranduil's bed. Without Galion's help, Thranduil removed his boots and turned down the lamps. He looked back on his friend briefly, before he turned back into his sitting room. Stretching one last the time, Thranduil collapsed on his divan, ready to let sweet slumber claim him as well.

 - - - 

Not beta read. So sorry for the mistakes



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