Title: Remember Me
Dedicated to Ulan
Genre: AU, angst, drama
Warnings: m/m relationship
Summary: Glorfindel is reborn into Middle Earth, but his memories from Gondolin are incomplete. Erestor seeks to make them whole.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no money from this story… I just like to play with other people’s toys. ;)
Request: from Ulan:
Rating up to = NC-17 -- Explicit content
Requested pairing = Glorfindel/Erestor
Story elements = Either friends-to-lovers or enemies-to-lovers, one or both with a crush on the other, maybe some good ol' pining
Do NOT include = Rape, infidelity, sad/bad endings, mpreg
Erestor forced a pleasant smile as he tapped Glorfindel’s shoulder, gaining his attention.
“Lord Glorfindel,” Erestor dipped his head in greeting.
“Master Erestor,” Glorfindel responded.
“It is such a pleasant evening and the band is playing so beautifully, I was wondering if you would care to dance?” Erestor held out his hand, hope clear upon his face.
Glorfindel looked at his nearly full pint of ale, to his friends, and then back to Erestor. Sighing softly, he drank deeply from his glass, downing half of the amber liquid in a matter of moments.
“Excuse me lads, I shan’t be long,” Glorfindel handed the remainder of his drink to Gildor and left his fellow warriors, escorting Erestor by the hand to the dancefloor.
Erestor buzzed where their hands touched. He followed Glorfindel’s lead through the crowd and down a few steps into the sunken floor at the centre of the room that was used for dancing. The song finished just as they descended the stairs, and they politely applauded the musicians for the lovely music before taking their places facing one another. Erestor’s breath caught as Glorfindel held him around the waist, and he offered a tentative smile while waiting for the music to resume.
Glorfindel returned the look graciously.
“You look handsome this night,” Erestor complimented. Glorfindel wore his name-sake hair out, free from ties and braids with no adornments. His clothing, despite the formality of the Yule Festivities, was just his customary knee-high boots, leggings and loose-fitting shirt, though he wore an open-front blue jerkin on top which flowed to his knees for a sense of decorum.
“And you are in your customary black, I see,” Glorfindel responded.
“I am in mourning,” Erestor explained.
“Yes, you have told me this previously,” Glorfindel said, almost bored.
Erestor said nothing, unsure of how to respond. He had told Glorfindel that before, yes, but was that really an excuse to sound uninterested? Most elves in Imladris had lost loved ones, in this Erestor was not special, but the cold and apathetic attitude still hurt.
“Oh good, I like this song,” Glorfindel commented upon hearing the music start up once more.
“Oh? Reminds you of Gondolin perhaps?” Erestor asked as he and Glorfindel began moving in gentle circles on the outskirts of the floor.
“The melody is familiar and the movements are elegant but simple. It is also an easy dance for two males to complete together; no twirling under each other’s arms or lifting one’s partner.”
“Yes, that does make things easier,” Erestor echoed, grateful he had requested this song from Lindir. “Are you enjoying your second Yule here in Imladris?”
“The food and company have been pleasant, though truly the after-dinner ale is what I was relishing the most,” Glorfindel explained.
“What of the decorations?” Erestor sought to alter Glorfindel’s attention, knowing full well he was the reason Glorfindel was no longer enjoying his ale.
“They are very customary of the time of year, and they seem to put everyone in a festive mood.”
“Did you receive any gifts? Mayhap from friends and a few persistent ladies?” Erestor asked with a coy smile.
“Anyone who thought me worthy of a gift I graciously accepted – well, except for one, whose owner was not brave enough to place a name upon the card.”
“Perhaps they are just shy? Or perhaps they wished to spare you the embarrassment of not reciprocating the gift-giving, lest you not have an item prepared for them in return?” Erestor countered.
“I have no interest in playing childish games with secret admirers.”
“Are you not at least a little curious what the gift holds?”
Glorfindel shrugged in response.
They continued dancing in silence for a while, moving around the dancefloor; their timing and steps perfectly in sync to the music, and each other. Where Erestor would have been comfortable merely enjoying his partner’s presence and gazing into those sparkling blue eyes all night, he could sense Glorfindel’s polite disinterest, and the mood grew awkward between them.
“I noticed your report concerning the military’s budget and spending has not yet been filed. If you require any assistance with it, I am happy to help. You need only ask,” Erestor offered, mentally hating himself for mentioning work but floundering for any other subject to fill the silence.
“Thank you, I may come to your office in the next week to do just that,” Glorfindel nodded his head in thanks.
“Oh, I may not have time in the next week during office hours. But if you would like to come to my private chambers, no doubt we can make progress together. Perhaps I can have dinner delivered as well. Make a night of it?” Erestor said with a smile.
“I would hate to put you out during your spare time,” Glorfindel reasoned.
“It would be no trouble at all,” Erestor insisted.
“I shall consider your offer,” Glorfindel said as he slowed their movements, the song coming to an end. He took a step back from Erestor, his hand slipping from the slender waist. Together they clapped the band for another well-performed song. Without thinking about it, Erestor slipped his arm into Glorfindel’s as they turned from the dancefloor and retraced their steps back to Glorfindel’s friends.
“I shall leave you here,” Erestor announced, removing his arm. “Thank you for indulging me in a dance, Lord Glorfindel,” Erestor nodded his head.
“No doubt we shall do so again at the next event,” Glorfindel replied.
“I would like that, thank you,” Erestor blushed lightly. This was the first time Glorfindel had been the one to suggest a dance, however vaguely.
“Just like every other gala where we have both been in attendance.”
“Do not tell me I am becoming predictable,” Erestor laughed good-naturedly.
“I notice you never dance with anyone else,” Glorfindel observed.
Erestor sobered immediately, his colour deepening. “I did not realise you watched me so closely.”
“It is my job to be aware of my surroundings. Anyway, I hope you have a pleasant evening, Councillor.” With such a nonchalant dismissal, Glorfindel turned back to his drinking fellows and took his pint from Gildor. Within 3 seconds Glorfindel drained the contents of the glass and eagerly motioned for another.
Erestor spun away from the scene, his eyes immediately being caught by Elrond from across the large room. As though drawn to his lord by that gaze, Erestor moved to the half-elf’s side.
“Have patience,” Elrond assured.
“It has been two and a half years, yet no recognition flares from within him!” Erestor retorted in a harsh whisper, not wanting his voice to carry, and tired of Elrond insisting he have patience.
“Forcing his memories might be detrimental to his mental state.”
“Might be,” Erestor insisted back. “The truth is we simply do not know. And aside from these gatherings and Council meetings, I never have any time with Glorfindel to help bring these memories to the surface.”
“Why not invite him-”
“He refuses. Each and every time. Horse riding, swimming at the Bruinen, dinner in my rooms, he refuses the activity and he refuses *me*! He does not even sit at the main table at meal times. Any spare time he has it is spent with his drinking buddies,” Erestor seethed, his eyes zeroing in on a smug looking Gildor. “Pffft- Glorfindel would not give that red-headed buffoon the time of day back in Gondolin.”
“Whatever Gildor was like in Gondolin he has been nothing but a friend and ally to Imladris, often entering dangerous situations for our advantage, and I will not have you sullying his reputation in public like this,” Elrond admonished Erestor, grasping his elbow in a tight grip.
“Yes, Lord Elrond,” Erestor said the words without any genuineness behind them, and pulled his arm out of Elrond’s hold.
“I know you are frustrated,” Elrond’s grey eyes blazed in warning, “but this is not something that can be rushed. And it would be to everyone’s detriment if you try to do so. Do you understand?”
“I understand your perspective as a Healer, but my heart has been burdened after what should have been a joyous reunion, and my patience is not ever-lasting.”
“Come Erestor, I feel you could use some fresh air.” Elrond linked his arm with Erestor’s and steered him towards the doors that led outside.
“I would rather retire for the evening,” Erestor politely argued.
“We shall take the scenic route to your rooms then,” Elrond smiled, ushering Erestor outside.
“This is not necessary,” Erestor grumbled, putting his arms inside the opposite long sleeves of his robe and folding them across his chest as he and Elrond strolled through the light snowfall.
“Privacy would be preferred for what I have to say,” Elrond warned. “I wonder, Erestor, if you have thought about why you want Glorfindel in your life again?”
“He is my husband!” Erestor exclaimed, halting and turning angrily towards Elrond. “Why would I not want him returned and at my side?”
“Have you considered that Glorfindel is no longer the elf you fell in love with? Likewise, you are not the elf he married.”
“Who are we then? Am I not still Erestor and he Glorfindel?”
“You may hold the same names and titles, yet your experiences differ greatly since the fall of Gondolin,” Elrond continued their walk. “You, Erestor, have lived through the loss of your husband and your home. You have had to build a new life for yourself countless times over as you moved from one kingdom to the next. And you have done this alone. Your black robes to this day speak volumes of your love for your husband, how much you must miss him and how hard the years must have been without him.”
“They are harder now with him so near yet not within my grasp,” Erestor muttered.
“Hush, do not interrupt,” Elrond chided gently. “Your roles within each kingdom have changed and increased. Your experience and skills currently have you as my Chief Councillor and Second in Command of Imladris, a station and responsibilities greater than those you had in Gondolin.
“Glorfindel, on the other hand, has survived his own death, and he is the only elf ever to have been reborn to Middle Earth. Whether he felt the passage of time in Mandos’ Halls or not is uncertain. If he was aware of all of those years, then he too has spent centuries alone, whether he remembers you or not. If he has no memories of the Halls, then he has been returned to a landscape far different than the one he left, to his perspective, only a handful of years ago. His home, friends, and family all gone within a moment, and now he finds himself the leader of armed forces, a role far removed from his previous position as House Ruler. Whether he finds this to be a blessing or an insult is unknown. Mayhap the freedom he finds in this role allows him to be more social and less selective with his chosen friends - a luxury he did not have in Gondolin? Whereas your current obligations restrict the amount of free time you have and those close to you that you can share it with.”
“You are suggesting we only fell in love because the timing was right and our situations were compatible?” Erestor came to a sudden halt, his eyebrows raised in horror.
“It is a thought worth considering,” Elrond responded as gently as possible.
“Nay, I do not believe that. You were not there. From the moment we met we knew our souls were meant to be One. Even now I feel the pull towards him; I just do not understand why he cannot feel it too,” Erestor grew quiet with contemplation, and continued moving forward.
“As I said, he is no longer the same elf. It is not given to us to understand the intricacies of Lord Námo’s power; we do not fully understand the rebirthing process. Perhaps he has a new soul, and seeks a mate attuned to his new life, rather than his old?”
“I cannot believe the Valar would be so cruel. To reform him in the body and mind he had in Gondolin, to restore all his memories save those of me, yet to potentially give him a different soul? How much heartache do they think I can live with!?” Erestor sniffled.
“Unfortunately, we have more questions than answers at this time. I notice you no longer wear your wedding ring.”
“The day Glorfindel came to Imladris - you were waiting on the balcony, ready to receive his fealty, and I was in front of the staircase, awaiting the return of my husband. When he dismounted from his horse, he glanced in my direction. Just glanced. Not at me - he did not see me, he looked right through me. The lack of recognition at that moment was far more painful than his initial death. From that afternoon onwards, I have worn our rings together on a chain around my neck. If we cannot be together as one, then at least the symbols of our everlasting love could be,” Erestor sniffled.
Elrond said nothing in response, but placed a comforting arm around Erestor’s shoulder as they re-entered the House, nearing Erestor’s chambers.
After a few moments of silence Elrond said, “I received a letter from Lord Celeborn and the Ladies Galadriel and Celebrian today.”
“Have they accepted your proposal?” Erestor asked.
“Celebrian has accepted and her parents have given us their blessing,” Elrond smiled happily.
“That is wonderful news!” Erestor, genuinely delighted for his friend, caught Elrond in a firm embrace.
“Thank you,” Elrond accepted the words of congratulations eagerly. He released Erestor and began walking again, stating his plans for the upcoming months as they continued down the warm corridors. “Once the snow melts from the mountains, I and a small contingent will travel to Lothlorien to sign the necessary agreements, treaties and contracts. Then Celebrian shall return with us and dwell here for approximately a year while we all organise a wedding of great magnificence. Your assistance in this would be gratefully received, by Celebrian and I both.”
“Of course, anything I can do to assist. I also highly recommend you take myself with you to Lothlorien,” Erestor cautioned. “If your purpose is to marry Celebrian, then Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel may force any clause upon the treaty they wish.”
“I am capable of reading a contract myself,” Elrond admonished with a smile.
“I am merely suggesting your fondness for your bride-to-be may blind you to-”
“Erestor, stop,” Elrond said with more authority. “I need you to remain here and take care of Imladris. You will be in charge until I return. That said I will be taking Silindrical and Melpomaen with me.”
Erestor wanted to fight his case a little more, but knew when to back down. “Who is to be escorting you?” he asked.
“I shall ask Glorfindel for no more than ten guards.”
“I will ensure some Galadhrim meet us halfway along our journey. And the road has always been quiet so soon after winter. I promise we will be safe, and the less personnel the swifter we will travel.”
“Well, I suppose if Glorfindel is among their number, there is little to fear.”
“No, I shall ask Glorfindel to remain behind,” Elrond advised as they turned down the corridor leading to Erestor’s rooms. “Though I will insist on Glorfindel’s Second in Command- Natahl, and Gildor to be part of the entourage.” Elrond looked pointedly at Erestor.
“Do you know for how long you will be absent?” Erestor asked, his mind already thinking ahead.
“No more than six weeks, I imagine,” Elrond responded casually with a sidelong glance, “though I may see fit to extend it to two months should I need further time to relax after such a long journey.”
“And you will need your strength for the return,” Erestor cautioned, trying to sound genuinely concerned for his lord’s wellbeing.
“Indeed.” Elrond smiled knowingly as he came to a stop outside Erestor’s door.
“When will you announce the news?” Erestor asked.
“I will do so tonight, shortly, before anyone is too inebriated to comprehend. If you would like to return to the festivities with me, we can make the announcement together?”
“Thank you, but no. This is your news, not mine or ours. And regrettably, I would rather retire to my solitary rooms than continue watching my husband cavort with others. I hope you understand.”
“I do. Happy Yule, Erestor,” Elrond gave Erestor another warm embrace.
“And to you,” Erestor returned the hug. “Good night.” Erestor gave a cursory bow and entered his bedroom.
Looking around the dark room ideas flooded Erestor’s mind. He quickly lit a few candles and began writing a list of everything he could think of, lest he forget it later, and, renewed enthusiasm, he stayed up late planning everything he would need. At most Erestor predicted he would have three months in which to prepare for his fight to restore Glorfindel’s memories, and he would leave nothing to chance.