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Subject: Stupidly long, unavoidable post necessary in order to introduce characters, but not for much else.

Elladan and Elrohir
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Date Posted: 21:33:51 12/22/02 Sun

The twin sons of Elrond drew their horses to a halt at a discreet distance, careful to stay out of the sights of their sister. There had been no words when they had seen her ride out; no need for them. Arwen was their seler’ai, they would protect her with their lives if necessary. Through the past few months they had felt caged and useless, lacking the skills their grandfather commanded to hold a fragile life within its fluttering cage, but they had never given up hope. She was the last one left to them- first their mother, then their father and grandmother had sailed from the Grey Havens to the everlasting sanctity of Aman, but that choice was yet before them. Neither elf nor man, immortal nor human, they stood between the worlds, neither ready to take the final step. They had come close once before, in the months of loss when their father’s ageless face had ceased to preside over Rivendell, but that venture had died on the shores of Beleriand when the thought of all that they would leave behind had flared back to life. It may come to pass that they too would die on this earth and become one with its soul, or perhaps, when those that they held dear were gone, they too would take the ship to Valinor, neither yet knew.
Both were tall, dark-haired and grey eyed as was Elrond before them, of a height with, yet more robustly built, than their Lorien cousins. Elven blood gave them speed, agility and wisdom, while their human ancestry gave them strength and fury. This fury had been checked whilst they were younger, and there had been a time when Lord Elrond had hoped they would follow him in the art of healing, or perhaps pursue the inner calm and wisdom of their grandfather and sister. Those dreams had come to dust however, when their mother Celebrian was taken and captured by orcs. The now fully adult twins had pursued and butchered the enemy, rescuing their mother, but the shock of the capture had forever changed here, and it was less than a year before she left for the sanctuary of the Undying Lands. Elladan and Elrohir were forever changed also; a hatred of orcs and the need for blood was seared into their hearts and they became warriors instead, frequently riding with the Dúnedain in an unspoken quest to destroy their foe. It had been while riding in battle with them that Arathorn, the father of Aragorn, had been killed, and his young son brought to Rivendell, to become a brother to them. They had taught him themselves, given him his first sword, and been alongside him when he killed his first enemy. And now…
Now everything had changed. Arwen, their beautiful, gentle sister was in pain, and it was Estel who had caused it. They could only watch as she gradually became weaker and weaker; fragile, lost and alone. She didn’t deserve this. She should never have to suffer.

Ahead of them, unaware, Arwen stumbled on a pebble, nearly falling. Elladan’s arm snaked outwards smoothly; he knew without turning his head that Elrohir would already be moving to help her. Knew with a certanity that they should not. Whatever she was here for, she had intended to be alone- she would not thank them for following. But at the same time, deep misgivings in his heart forbade him to let her have the solitude she desired. His brother twitched impatiently against the restraint, submitting reluctantly. Elrohir was the more impulsive of the two- it was even reflected by his name. Elladan meant wise man of the stars, or star-crafter, but Elrohir meant star-rider and star-knight. Whatever Elrond may have wished, the fates had always intended him to fight.

He was watching her now, blood boiling. Why couldn’t he help? With hands, sword or bow, either twin could more than match many a man or elf. But this was something he couldn’t hold back by force, and not through love either. It wasn’t his love that Arwen desired to keep her in this world, however freely it was offered. They were of her blood and kin, beloved brothers. But Estel was in her soul.

And she in his, they had always thought. They had seen him grow from boy to man, moulded his character themselves. Whatever his faults, the boy they’d known would never intentionally have harmed her. And even if they had grown apart, his honour would have compelled him to stand by her. Arwen hadn’t told them what it was that had caused the separation, nor had they pressed for an answer after the first questions had been rejected, but Celeborn knew. He knew the twins as well- realised how torn they were between sister and the man who was both a comrade and a brother. They would of course put Arwen first every time, but the loss of Estel as a friend grieved them both. Over this matter of two stubborn hearts, Celeborn kept his own counsel, and prayed for the miracle that would save them both.


Something was wrong, and they could both sense it. Let alone the fact that Arwen was risking the life of her child to come here, when she was clearly almost too weak to stand. It was the expression on her face- amidst all the pain and anguish there was something else, something that came dangerously close to resignation, defeat. The seconds ticked by, and a cold knot of dread began to grow in Elladan’s heart. Part of him knew what she was about to do, but he couldn’t believe that it could happen. Didn’t want to admit to himself that Arwen could do such a thing. She wouldn’t- she wouldn’t do that to them. To the baby. To Aragorn…

But she did. The moment seemed to last forever as she fell. And then Elrohir was running, flying, curving downwards in a sweeping dive that broke the surface of the water, swimming to where his sister’s form churned under the foam, unresisting. And Elladan was beside him as always, knowing what he would do, and what was needed of him. Together they pulled her unconscious body out of the water and onto sunbathed rocks, fearful that it was already to late.
“Arwen,” asked Elladan softly, brushing dark, clinging strands away from her face, “Can you hear me?”

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