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Cutbacks

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Title:Cutbacks
Author: Mawgy
Beta: Mawgy’s Mum
Dedicated to Slashysanta, kenaz, red_lasbelin
Rated: PG13-R
Genre: Slice of Life
Warnings: m/m relationship
Pairing: Erestor/Glorfindel
Summary: Glorfindel is invested in the big picture; his ‘ever after’ with Erestor, as it were. Erestor however, he likes clothes. Lots of them. Can Glorfindel’s dream of their future together become reality if Erestor’s obsession cannot be controlled?
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no money from this story… I just like to play with other people’s toys. ;)

















Glorfindel walked into the bedroom he shared with Erestor and stopped dead in his tracks. It seemed the talk he planned on having with Erestor this evening was a day late as the very scene he was hoping to prevent was now occurring right in front of him.

Erestor looked as though he had not left the bed all day. His hair was unbound and slightly unkempt, his body unclothed and he sat, cross-legged, in the centre of their large bed, surrounded by bits and pieces of VERY familiar objects and information.

“I see you have received the clothing samples and designs for Spring and Summer,” Glorfindel commented, tipping his chin at the swatches of material and pieces of parchment with various sketches upon them lain all around his lover.

“Indeed. The designers have truly out-done themselves this season. There are styles with hints of all other Elven realms melded together seamlessly with what is uniquely Imladrian clothing. The colour choices and, here, feel this,” Erestor said picking up a piece of cloth and holding it towards Glorfindel. Glorfindel walked up to the bed and accepted the material in both hands. “Have you ever felt anything so soft?” Erestor asked.

“Only your skin,” Glorfindel cooed and leant down for a kiss. He placed the material back on the bed.

“Oh, not there- that is the ‘maybe’ pile,” Erestor moved the item to its appropriate place on the ‘definite’ pile.

“Is this all the designers?” Glorfindel asked.

“Most of them,” Erestor glowed.

“Seems out of place, so many customers needing to attend the local markets when all you need do is wait for your bi-annual delivery of clothing choices,” Glorfindel gave a lop-sided smile, picking up a few sketches and looking through them.

“Oh, honestly, I still need to attend the market to have myself measured and fitted for the clothing-”

“And pay for them,” Glorfindel snuck in.

“Oh no, I have an account set up with each designer and that is charged directly from my savings with Imladris’ coffers,” Erestor corrected. “The only advantage I have is that I am allowed to view the designs and place orders before the rest of Imladris has a chance. Well, myself and Elrond. However, I do feel I found a few items in here that you might like. Just a moment while I try and,” Erestor rustled through a few discarded piles trying to find particular sketches, “- ah! Here, do you not think the blue of that side cape would bring out your eyes?”

Glorfindel looked at the outfit and cringed. While pretty to look at, it was not his style, nor practical in any way. It would be too cumbersome on the training field, and hard to relax in if doing paperwork.

“It is lovely, but I have enough clothes, thank you for the thought,” Glorfindel handed the parchment back.

“Suit yourself,” Erestor shrugged and continued sifting through the items around him.

“Erestor,” Glorfindel sounded serious.

“Yes?” Erestor asked, not looking up.

“I wonder,” Glorfindel asked softly, calmly, moving aside a few pieces to sit on the edge of the bed, ignoring Erestor’s dismayed look, “when, if ever, you will feel you have enough clothes?”

“Is such a thing possible?” Erestor asked with a wicked smile.

Glorfindel remained silent a moment, staring into Erestor’s eyes.

“Glorfindel no, you cannot stop me from buying new clothes,” Erestor almost sounded childish.

“And I do not wish to upset you Erestor,” Glorfindel took one of Erestor’s hands in his.

“Then stop talking and do not say what you wish to say.”

“I cannot, for practical reasons.”

“These are clothes- practicality incarnate!”

“Not when you own enough that you could wear a new item each day for a year and never repeat a single piece once, undergarments included,” Glorfindel reasoned.

“You said when we agreed to live together that I could continue buying beautiful clothing for myself.”

“I did, and I will not stop you if you insist-”

“Then I insist,” Erestor held his chin up, a serious look upon his face.

“I just believe it is worth considering the possibility that the amount of clothing purchased every six months could be reduced,” Glorfindel cupped Erestor’s cheek. “I do not wish to stop you from being yourself. Just curtail your spending a little.”

“You have not minded previously,” Erestor’s dark eyes regarded Glorfindel closely.

“The world is turning, Erestor,” Glorfindel dropped his hand back to Erestor’s. “Every day elves are leaving these shores. And when we leave, what will become of your clothes then? They are currently barely contained within a single room. How many trunks will it take to transport them? How large a space are we allowed to use for storage purposes on the ships that will carry us across the sea? Will you even need the variety of clothes you have currently in Valinor? Are you expecting to dine with Kings in your fanciest garb and still practice with your weapons in your plainest of shirts and leggings? Or can some items remain behind?”

Erestor looked lost, not expecting this line of questioning this day.

“And what of our future together once we reach Valinor? I for one have grand ideas on where I would like to live. However, I do not know the price of land and properties, or building materials should we need to construct our dwelling. I would appreciate it if we could leave these shores knowing we have the funds necessary to buy a comfortable life in the place we shall spend eternity.”

“What are your grand ideas for our house in Valinor?” Erestor asked softly.

“Well,” Glorfindel gave a goofy smile, and pushed items aside so he could lean against the headboard and pulled Erestor back into the crook of his arm. “After so many years of public service and constantly being at the beck and call of all Imladrians, I would like us to be removed from most inhabitants of Valinor. Not so far that we are completely isolated, but far enough that the journey would be too bothersome for most to make on a regular occurrence.

“I would like somewhere high, on a hill or cliff, overlooking the ocean on one side, but green fields all around in other directions. Enough space to grow fruits and vegetables, keep animals for their milk, eggs, wool and occasionally meat, and the opportunity to keep horses; where we can ride all day just because we have nothing else to do. A small pocket of trees in the distance would be nice for the occasional hunt, and firewood of course. And wild flowers too, so that our house will always smell pleasantly.”

“What of our house?” Erestor asked. “What is that like?”

“Cosy,” Glorfindel hugged Erestor closer and kissed the top of his head, “and made entirely of a warm red oak colour. Each day I will whittle a while, creating beautiful and tactile pieces of art that are both aesthetically pleasing and literally vital to the structure of the house. A small sitting room come library with a warm hearth will be where we spend our evenings. Our bedroom will be small and our bed will be so large that it barely fits within the four walls, for who needs to get dressed every day when living far from civilisation? There will be a spare room for the occasional guest, though slowly over the years our personal items will take this space over more and more, so visitors feel intrusive should they tarry in our house overly long.” Erestor snickered. “Our kitchen will have a large larder where we will stock all sorts of jams and honey, so always we can have something sweet to eat.

“There will be a patio leading out from the kitchen and dining room. Plants will be encouraged to grow up posts and across the beams framing the patio so in years to come the light will be filtered and the sun not so harsh. A day bed will always be out there, so you may read while outside and relax in comfort whenever you like.”

“What of you?” Erestor asked. “Will you have no space that is just your own?”

“A small loft space will be made into the rafters so I may paint as I wish. Though more often than not my muse will be found in the rooms beneath me.”

“How far from others will we be?”

“Hmmm, ideally, half a day’s journey. We will travel to the nearest town at least once a month to visit our friends, buy supplies and whatever food we cannot grow ourselves, and spend a few days away from our home before returning to our little slice of paradise.”

“That does sound lovely,” Erestor sighed.

“That lifestyle appeals to you?” Glorfindel asked.

Erestor remained quiet a moment. “It does,” he said sincerely, smiling gently and twisting to look directly into Glorfindel’s eyes. “I want all of that. I want your ideal home to become our reality.”

Glorfindel nodded solemnly, reaching out a hand to pick up a sketch. “Do you want our eternal home more than you want new clothes?”

“I do, though maybe starting next season?” Erestor asked, misery seeping into his words. “There are so many lovely designs to choose from, I’d hate to stop so suddenly.”

“I said before, I do not wish you to stop buying new items, just not so many. Choose your favourite and only buy that,” Glorfindel encouraged.

“One!?” Erestor shrieked. “So many rely on me! The designers expect me to purchase multiple outfits- their livelihood depends on me wearing their new creations, inspiring others to buy similar garments. And the more I buy the larger a reduction of cost I am also offered.”

“Then surely you should be receiving items for free by now,” Glorfindel grumbled. He wiped a hand down his face. “How many new outfits do you purchase a season?”

“Typically, fifteen,” Erestor said.

“Fifteen new and complete outfits!?” Glorfindel pulled away in shock.

“It is a reasonable amount. New formal robes,” Erestor began counting on his fingers, “five work robes, three everyday robes, two casual outfits, three outfits for special occasions, and usually something whimsical. Sometimes I even leave the choice of that up to the designer.”

“Very well, a compromise,” Glorfindel said. “Two outfits, but I get to choose one of them.”

“Then I am no better off than your first offer! Again, I feel this negotiation should be addressed prior to the next season’s collection release,” Erestor said firmly and moved away to study a nearby drawing some more.

“Do you know how much money you have in your savings account right now?” Glorfindel asked.

“My salary allows me to live the life I want,” Erestor responded.

“The life you want now, or the life you want in the future? Or is your salary so great that you are able to afford both?”

Erestor’s eyes shifted, but he remained stubbornly quiet.

“We have maybe fifty years yet remaining on these shores. The sooner we curtail our spending habits, the more gold we will have later to help bring our desires into reality in Valinor. And it is not so great a time that clothing for so short a period will be missed, nor indeed neither will the fashions change so drastically, surely.”

Erestor looked miserable as he considered Glorfindel’s words.

“I also wonder if you have considered what will happen when the shopkeepers begin moving into the West. No doubt we will remain in Middle Earth until Lord Elrond is ready to leave. And he will be among the last. Surely those not tied to these lands so intimately will venture forth sooner. What then will you do without your cloth-”

“Very well- two outfits a season,” Erestor agreed with a huff.

“Excellent!” Glorfindel cheered and leaned in for a kiss.

Erestor pulled back. “What will you stop spending your money on?”

“Gifts for you,” Glorfindel quipped. Erestor glowered but accepted the kiss nonetheless. “Choose your outfit and tell me which you will order. Then I shall decide on my choice for you.”

“What if I order my favourite outfit. Then I choose my next five favourites and you pick one from those?”

“I will certainly take any suggestions from you under advisement,” Glorfindel said seriously, “but the ultimate choice will be mine, and I may veto your next favourite designs. AND,” Glorfindel interrupted before Erestor could say anything, “you will not know which outfit I have chosen until the completed garment arrives.”

“You are taking all the fun out of this,” Erestor grumbled.

“I would think the surprise and knowledge that you are wearing something I would like to see you in, regardless of your usual style, would be exciting.”

“So many things could go wrong,” Erestor despaired. “I may not like it, and then that would be a greater waste of money. It could be inappropriate for any scenario, or a colour that does not suit me, or-”

“You look beautiful in all things,” Glorfindel insisted. “And without,” he smiled, his eyes raking over Erestor’s naked form thoroughly. “Trust me. I will choose so wisely you will be wondering why you never asked me to dress you previously.”

“I propose that if you do select something garish, that not only do I not have to wear it, but also I can choose something to replace it with, and going forward, that I may choose both of the outfits each season,” Erestor’s mouth was pressed firm in all seriousness.

“I accept on the proviso that you do not simply say that you do not like the garments only so you may replace them.”

“I shall be honest in my opinion of the outfit you purchase for me,” Erestor swore.

“Very well, we have an accord,” Glorfindel smiled and sealed the agreement with a kiss.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

“GLORFINDEL!” Erestor called upon entering their rooms a few weeks later.

“Yes, my sweet?” Glorfindel trilled back from inside the bedroom.

“Were the outfits ready for collection today?” he asked excitedly as he entered the bedroom. Glorfindel sat at the foot of the bed, a large grin on his face.

“This is the one you ordered,” Glorfindel picked up a box from behind him and held it out to Erestor.

“And the other?”

“You will receive it once you model the outfit you chose,” Glorfindel promised.

“Very well but I will only change my outer garments- no need to alter my undershirt or leggings for this,” Erestor took the box and walked towards their bathing chamber.

“That is very sensible,” Glorfindel agreed. “Where are you going?”

“To change my clothing,” Erestor cocked his head in the direction of the other room.

“I have seen you in all states of dress and undress,” Glorfindel looked confused. “I believe I have helped you on many an occasion,” he added with a wink.

Erestor tittered. “Helped, or hindered?”

“Depends on what your goal was at the time,” Glorfindel smiled cheekily.

Erestor shook his head. “I thought you would want the full reveal,” Erestor explained, motioning to the box in his hands.

“You showed me the sketch and a sample swatch of the outfit you chose though. Navy blue velvet with sparkly silver pieces all over. I imagine you will look like the night sky,” Glorfindel smiled.

“Very well,” Erestor promptly shed his outer robe and put the afore described garments on. A thin navy under robe with silver embroidery at the neck and wrists lay under the large open-front navy robe which fell to the floor and draped a little at the back, creating a small train. “There is also a wide silver belt to add to the under robe should I want.”

“A formal robe?” Glorfindel asked.

“Formal, and for special occasions, such as Yule,” Erestor clarified, turning around slowly to show off the full ensemble. “I can start the evening looking very proper, then remove the outer robe for dancing as the night deepens.”

“You look lovely,” Glorfindel complimented. Erestor smiled with a hint of a blush. “Why do you not put those clothes away, and then I shall reveal what I chose?”

Eager to see his mate’s choice of outfit, Erestor took all items to his dressing room and returned in a thin shirt and leggings a moment later. Glorfindel remained on the bed, patting a box next to him on the mattress.

“Do you have something for me, love?” Erestor asked as he prowled towards the box.

“Actually, I had a thought,” Glorfindel slid the box behind his back before Erestor could reach it. “Something about ‘the full reveal’? I think I want you to have that.”

“It is a little hard not to look at the clothing pieces as I am dressing myself within them,” Erestor looked perplexed.

“Then I shall dress you,” Glorfindel responded easily and stood up. “First, I need you to remove your shirt.”

“Glorfindel, do not be silly, just let me see-” Erestor was surprised when Glorfindel grasped the hem of his shirt and pulled it up.

“Arms up,” Glorfindel ordered. Erestor obeyed without a thought. “Is this a typical hairstyle for work?” Glorfindel asked, noting the tight braiding around the crest of the dark head, with the rest loose and flowing long down the slender back to just above the swell of Erestor’s pert buttocks.

“A relaxed work day,” Erestor clarified.

“Mmmm, it will do. Turn this way and close your eyes,” Glorfindel instructed, moving Erestor to face away from the free-standing full-length mirror. Erestor gave an annoyed look but did so anyway. Glorfindel moved the box from the bed to the floor just behind Erestor. Glorfindel checked Erestor’s eyes again and pulled the main robe from the box. He put his arm through the neck hole and gathered the rest of the material around the opening and gently placed it over Erestor’s head. “Left arm,” he instructed, holding up one sleeve, then repeated the process on the right.

“Ahh, Glorfindel?” Erestor sounded a little panicked, his hands feeling the cloth around his torso, neck and arms. “This is too large! And is barely staying on me!” he pulled on one shoulder only for the other side to fall off half way down his arm. The neck hole was so large it dipped at the front and back and barely remained on his shoulders.

“Erestor, stop!” Glorfindel grasped Erestor’s upper arms and held his lover firm. “Do not obsess over anything until the ensemble is complete. Can you try and not take control, please?”

The tension in Erestor’s body eased and he dropped his arms to his sides.

“Thank you,” Glorfindel kissed Erestor quickly. “Trust me, this is exactly what I wanted, and you look divine,” Glorfindel spoke as he adjusted the garment to sit correctly once more. “Can you please lift your arms up to the sides?” Glorfindel asked.

Erestor did as requested and felt the material sliding off his arms, barely being held on at the shoulders, elbows and wrists. From behind, Glorfindel wrapped something around his waist.

“Please place your hands on your waist and hold this in position while I secure it,” Glorfindel instructed.

“Secure?” Erestor squeaked. “What kind of piece of clothing needs ‘securing’?”

“A beautiful one. Now just stay still,” Glorfindel said, and started lacing the back and pulling it tight.

“Oh goodness!” Erestor took a step back as Glorfindel all but yanked the item into place.

“Can you breathe?” Glorfindel asked after doing it up.

“Am I not supposed to?” Erestor sounded alarmed.

“Hush,” Glorfindel sounded annoyed. “All right, arms slightly to the back please.” Erestor felt the large sleeves of his robe being threaded through one arm hole of a garment, and then the other, before the full item was pulled up his arms to sit over his shoulders. Glorfindel carefully pulled his hair free and straightened the collar so it sat up high and flush against his neck, just the way he liked. Glorfindel moved around Erestor a few times, making small adjustments here and there.

“Can I open my eyes yet?” Erestor asked.

“Take my hands and turn this way,” Glorfindel spun him around so Erestor faced the mirror once more. “Before you look, I just want to say I think you look perfect. Even if you do not like it, I would be honoured if you wore this, at least once. Somewhere in public. With me on your arm. And the designer I must say, has perfectly made exactly what I wanted for you. I am very happy with this, and I hope you are too.”

Erestor nodded his head once in understanding.

“You may see yourself,” Glorfindel instructed.

Dread in his heart, Erestor carefully opened his eyes, expecting an ill-fitting, gaudy monstrosity an elfling would not even wear. Instead, his eyes were instantly drawn to his clothing and a sharp intake of breath filled the room. “Oh my.”

The oversized robe underneath was a soft cheesecloth fabric in a vibrant azure blue colour. It was not only large in the torso but also in the skirt, the material gathering and rippling in many undulations as it fell around his legs. The item at his waist was similar to a corset, though not as long. Almost a waist cincher but more stylised; curving inwards at the front. It gathered in the loose material close to him and gave his body shape. It was black with embroidery in the same blue colour as the robe beneath it.

The sleeves were just as oversized, yet ended perfectly at Erestor’s wrists, allowing him to work without the excess material getting in the way. Erestor twisted his arms and saw the sleeves had long cut-outs in them. From shoulder to elbow and elbow to wrist Erestor’s arms could be seen through the slits, with only a couple of centimetres where the material on either side of his arm met and were joined together. It was certainly different from anything else Erestor owned.

The sleeveless robe on top was a heavy and stiff black material, keeping the whimsical design beneath contained, giving the outward austere appearance of one of Erestor’s usual ensembles. The open-front robe fell to mid-thigh height at the front, and curved lower as it fell to the back, reaching his knees at the rear. The vivid blue of the under robe flared out from the hem of the top layer, eager to escape the oppressiveness above.

“This is beautiful!” Erestor exclaimed, twirling around in front of the mirror, eager to view the outfit from all angles, and moving his hair out of the way. “It is perfection!”

“You like it?” Glorfindel released a breath he did not know he had been holding.

“I LOVE IT!” Erestor exclaimed! “Oh, Glorfindel!” Erestor pulled Glorfindel to him for a passionate kiss. “You have thought of everything!”

“I wanted something that was quintessentially you, marrying your playful and serious sides together. Though I believe the real genius is the wide belt- it is reversible. On the other side it is plain black, so it can be worn with other garments, should you want to,” Glorfindel looked proud of himself.

Erestor looked awe-struck at his lover. “You are amazing. And this outfit,” Erestor turned back to the mirror, “it is amazing also. It is beautiful as a whole, but so adaptive as well. As a full ensemble it would be appropriate for work, greeting guests, feasts and festivals.” Erestor halted to remove the outer layer and placed it on the bed. “With this much skin open to the elements,” Erestor regarded his exposed upper chest, upper back, and arms, “and the lightness of the material, this would be an excellent casual robe in the warmer months, or for work when my office becomes too hot, or to dinner and the Hall of Fire afterwards. With so much freedom,” Erestor was swinging his legs around easily, “I would be able to dance the night away.” Where once he was concerned the large openings would slip from his small frame, Erestor found the tightness of the wide belt around his stomach helped keep everything in place. “AND!” Erestor pulled open the knot holding the cincher in place behind him, and with Glorfindel jumping into action to assist, they easily had the item off in moments, “with just this on,” Erestor referred to the large blue robe, “I can easily relax in just this in our rooms! Glorfindel, you magnificent being!” Erestor pulled him in for a kiss again. “Truly, you have exceeded my expectations and have made me very happy!”

“I am glad I chose correctly,” Glorfindel was grinning.

“You did! Though,” Erestor faulted, “I do not recall seeing this sketch among the designs I was sent.”

“No,” Glorfindel confirmed, “not this exact ensemble. I may have spoken with the designer and chose certain bits and pieces from various designs that I did like, added my own flare and this is the result!”

“You created this!? For me!?” Erestor squealed, surprise and love clear on his face.

“I am glad you like it,” Glorfindel blushed.

“My lover, a natural clothing connoisseur,” Erestor kissed Glorfindel again.

“Surely living with you and your fashionable garments has taught me a thing or two,” Glorfindel shrugged off the compliment. “But, the more important question, receiving only two new outfits a season, are you satisfied with this arrangement, given the ensembles you received today?”

“Satisfied is an adequate word,” Erestor said in all seriousness. “I would not say that I am elated, nor were the designers when I told all but one that I would be making no purchases this season. But, given the success of your chosen outfit, then I will adhere to the terms of our agreement. Though I insist you continue on with this artistic flair and create all the items you choose for me. Agreed?”

“I will do my best,” Glorfindel compromised.

Erestor smiled. “Actually, perhaps I should forego my choice of my outfit next time, and design something for you too.”

“Oh, no, I have plenty of clothes, thank you,” Glorfindel declined politely.

“Darling,” Erestor wound his arms around Glorfindel’s neck and pulled him in close, “you have made me so happy. I wish only to return the favour.”

“You wish to make me happy?”

“Desperately.”

“Then I suggest we move this affair to the bed, where clothing is strictly prohibited, and I shall let your imagination run wild with ideas of all the ways you can make me very happy,” Glorfindel grinned cheekily.

“Are you certain you wish me to remove this?” Erestor asked, stepping back from Glorfindel and manipulated the oversized robe so one shoulder now sat at his neck and the other fell off the other side, down his arm, exposing creamy skin.

“Oh gods,” Glorfindel felt his mouth dry. Erestor had no warning as he was suddenly lifted into the air and flung onto the soft bed. Glorfindel’s eyes were intense as he followed Erestor down onto the mattress. He looked much like a hunter stalking his prey, starving for a morsel of food to eat. Erestor lifted his head, eager to meet those ruby lips. Glorfindel instead went straight for the jugular, worshipping the exposed collarbone with his lips and tongue. Erestor moaned and writhed beneath.

“It seems this new arrangement will be very satisfying,” Erestor laughed.

Glorfindel smiled into the shoulder he had been kissing. “Satisfying is an adequate word,” Glorfindel echoed Erestor’s earlier statement, and shifted position for a proper kiss.

So long as Glorfindel remained this eager to divest Erestor of his garments, new clothing was no longer a priority. The possibility of moments like these in their future home in Valinor will always take precedence.


~FIN~














A/N: My beta had some trouble picturing the outfit Glorfindel designed (which is a concern, given how much of the story relates to it), so I crudely drew up this little image on Paint to give an idea of the ensemble.

Please note: I am not an artist, nor is this an exact representation of the outfit described above- it is just to give an idea of what the outfit looks like in case my description above is hard to visualise. (Also, the 'stars' on the cincher are to represent the embroidery, and how the blue thread on the black belt looks, the embroidery is not actually stars. They are elves so it's more likely to be pretty swirls or something natural, but as I'm not an artist and was making this image on Paint, my options of shapes to make the embroidery 'effect' from were limited).

Hope this helps.


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