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The Ties That Bind Us by cheekybeak

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Story notes:
Follows straight after That Wondrous Song. 4th story in the Walls of Glass series.

As always, All Tolkiens, not Mine.
Chapter notes:
I haven't written these guys for a while but when we last saw them, Legolas had been talked out of sailing and returned to Imladris, while Elladan was stumbling around under the weight of a sealonging that wasn't his.......here is what happens next.
Legolas

The sun is shining, the day is bright and I am happy, happier than I have been for months, maybe even years. It has been so long the feeling is a strange one, almost as if I have forgotten how to be anything but miserable......perhaps I have.

It has been several days since we returned to Imladris after my desperate, grief stricken dash to the Sea. I find it impossible now to remember what drove me there because Elrohir has forgiven me, and he loves me. The last few days have been glorious, a wonderful, euphoric, haze. For the first time in years I am secure and cherished and loved. I no longer have every moment of closeness tainted with the fear of abandonment, the fall out from betrayal. 

There is one cloud on my horizon and that is Elladan. 

Somehow he has released me of my burden and piled my sealonging upon himself. I still do not know how he achieved it but I know I must take it back, it is not his cross to bear, it belongs to me, and as much as I am uplifted by its disappearance, as much as the lack of it has transformed my life, it is mine to own.
 There is only one problem. Elladan will not let me. 

I have asked, then bargained and wrangled and pleaded, to no avail. I have resorted to anger with even less success so now he avoids me. I cannot do it on my own, I cannot simply reach in and take it back. He must invite me in, and he will not. I have run out of ideas and I leave tomorrow with Aragorn, I have no clue what to do next which is why I have sought out Glorfindel. 

"You must make him let me in." I say, and to me it seems easy. "Once he allows the connection I know I can relieve him of the sealonging."

But Glorfindel simply throws back his head and laughs at me.

"I must make him let you in? Seriously, Legolas. Who do you think I am? I cannot 'make' Elladan do anything!"

My frustration at my helplessness boils over for he does not understand, how can he? There is nothing of the sea about him. 

"You have no idea, Glorfindel, what a burden this is to him," I say angrily. "Do you even care?"

I find out then why they say it is best not to cross the Balrog slayer.

Glorfindel can be gentle, I have been on the receiving end of his paternal kindness recently myself, but now he turns on me, and he is all ice cold fury. I flinch in the face of it. I, who consider myself courageous, who was raised by Thranduil and can stand firm under his displeasure, I flinch.

"How dare you!" His words cut me to shreds. "How dare you suggest I do not care, that I do not see how this is affecting him already. How dare you, Legolas Thranduilion." He is implacable and I am shamed for of course he cares, of course he knows, he loves him.

I am left speechless for my mouth has over run itself and there is nothing I can say but to ask his forgiveness and so I do.

"That was said in frustration, forgive me, I know you care I just cannot, I cannot get near him! I need you to help me Glorfindel. Please."

"Do you not think I have already been encouraging it?" He says sadly now. "He will not listen to me Legolas. He keeps me at arms length. He is convinced I seek to control him." 

I realise then I need to tell him of Elrohir's theory. I have been negligent not to do so before now.

"Elrohir thinks the sealonging plays with the mind." I say, "He thinks it seeks to twist things, to break down the ties that keep you here, to destroy them and force you to the other side. He thought it did that to me, the way I saw my friendship with Aragorn, my relationship with Elrohir. I believed there was no hope for either of them. It was not true." 

Glorfindel stares at me, his face expressionless. He is a blank slate and I cannot read him.

"A creative theory, I have never heard that." 

"But perhaps it works upon Elladan now if he does not trust you?......why would he be worried about control when it has never bothered him before? It wants to separate the two of you for if he does not have you he is more likely to sail."

"You make it sound as if it has a mind of it's own!" He was disbelieving. "It is not a thing alive, it does not have a brain." 

"I know! I know that it does not......but it felt like it.....sometimes it felt like it did have. When I was at my weakest, my lowest, when my distance from Aragorn was uppermost in my mind or my fears Elrohir would leave me, then it was at its worst, then the call across the sea was almost irresistible. I know it is unheard of but it does make sense to me Glorfindel."

Glorfindel sighs then, heavily, and rubs his temples with his hands as if his head aches.

"He is not himself, that is true, and he will not listen. He holds me at arms length. He is prickly and tense, I must watch everything I say to him." 

"Do not let it succeed Glorfindel!' I say in alarm, "I must leave with Aragorn tomorrow, there is no delaying it, If I cannot get him to cooperate this evening you must bring him to me in Minas Tirith, you and Elrohir. He will try to push you away and you must not let him!"

Glorfindel throws his arm around me then, his sudden anger with me has drained away as if it never was, but for all he smiles at me, he radiates a sadness that originates at the heart of him. 

"Fear not Legolas," his smile is a small fleeting one, "No sealonging will come between Elladan and I." 

But I know what it did to my relationship with Elrohir. Glorfindel is strong and determined, I can only hope he is strong enough. 

We walk then, through the gardens, back to our rooms, and we talk companionably on the way. The sun warms my back and reminds me once again that, Elladan aside, things are good for me now.  

"Do you look forward to your trip then?" Glorfindel asks, "with Aragorn and Gimli."

"I do!" I am surprised how much I do in fact. "It has been a long time since it has been the three of us together and Aragorn and I have been sundered too long. I do look forward to it. Even if it means leaving Elrohir-" 

I stop then, mid sentance, for I have seen something. We stand upon a rise and below us, in an alcave across the garden, two others stand, close and intimate, heads together and smiles on their faces. They do not see us, but something draws me to look down upon them. I know the man, the elleth I do not remember seeing before, I am transfixed, I cannot take my eyes from them for it is Elrohir who stands there, Elrohir who lifts his hand to brush hair from her eyes, Elrohir who leans his forehead against hers.

My stomach churns.

"Legolas!" I jump and realise Glorfindel has been speaking to me, He stands still now, head tilted, looking at me oddly.

"Forgive me, I did not hear you,"

He comes to stand beside me, looking down, as I do, on the garden below. 

"Who is that?" I ask, trying to keep my voice light, I do not care.....I do not care.....

"Elhadrel," replies Glorfindel," She has been visiting from Lothlorien since Celeborn was last here." He seems unconcerned with what he sees, but then, they have moved away from each other now, though the elleth still gazes up at Elrohir with shining eyes. He has turned so his back is towards me, I can see the sheath of jet black hair falling down his back but I cannot see his face, does he look at her the same?

I do not care....

"They have known each other a long time," Glorfindel continues conversationally, as uninterested as he would be if we discussed the weather. "We speculated they might marry once upon a time. Elrond would have been happy with it as a match........but then...." He turns to me with a wicked grin,
"But then a wild woodelf came to Imladris and snared his heart. She had no hope after that!" I smile back because I know he expects it but I find I lack his confidence. The woodelf of which he speaks, of course is me.

"In truth, I do not think Elrohir was ever serious about her, he was serious about so little then and she seemed to me far too boring for him." He finishes and turns away as if the conversation is done. 

I turn back to where they still stand. The intimacy that was between them has vanished. Glorfindel obviously did not see it, he is unruffled, at ease with it all. They stand now and talk as two old friends should talk, even I can see no wrong in it, nothing to threaten me. But I did see it, before, the way he touched her, their closeness, it was love that shone between them then. 

Elrohir and I have been blissful these last few days. He has showered me with love and care. He has forgiven me Elladan. I have no reason to doubt him, none at all, and yet I do.

Deep in my gut twists a sliver of jealousy and I do not like it. I am not a jealous creature. Elrohir and I have spent long years during which we have had other lovers and I have never once felt like this. It is my silvan nature to understand this, and yet I do not.

"Come Legolas, I am hungry and dinner will soon be served." Glorfindel calls over his shoulder and walks away, and so I take one last look at the figures below me, too close, too intimate, too loving they are, and I reluctantly follow. 

And the jealousy crawls within me and slowly, softly, gently it attacks my happiness.