Elrond was missing again.
He had not attended his lessons, and he had skipped dinner. He never missed both of them unless something was wrong. Very wrong.
Maedhros finally found him curled up on the window seat in one of the unused bedrooms, far from where anyone would have thought to look for him.
Elrond was so deep in thought, that he did not hear him enter, and did not notice him until he lay a hand on his shoulder. When Elrond startled and turned to face him, it was obvious that he had been crying.
“Elrond? What’s wrong, why are your eyes red?”
It was obvious that Elrond wanted to answer, but was having trouble expressing his thoughts, as he often did. He was much more reserved than Elros, and often struggled to talk about what was bothering him, for fear that it was insignificant, or that he was overreacting.
“You know you can talk to me”, Maedhros encouraged, hoping that Elrond would confide in him.
There was a long silence before he answered.
“I am going to lose him. Elros. He is going to leave me, just like our parents did. Why am I not good enough for anyone?”
Elrond took a shuddering breath before continuing.
“I don’t know how or when, but I will. I know it. Sometimes things I dream or things I am afraid of come true, and I know this is one of them.
I’m going to be abandoned again, I am going to lose everyone. I dream of losing you and Maglor too, I dream of fire and water and the emptiness of being alone.”
“Oh Elrond, come here” he soothed, drawing the young elf into a tight hug.
“It will be okay, right? I am not going to lose you all am I?” came the muffled response against his shoulder.
Oh how he wished he could tell him otherwise.
But he could not.
For that would be a lie.
Right now, all Maedhros could do was hold him close.