Erestor had only himself to blame. It had been his idea to give each of the elflings the assignment of finding a new word each day. Not only to find a new word but learn the definition of the word as well. It had seemed a simple enough task, at least it should have been. Of course, how was he to know that the twins would decide to see this as a competition between them. Each one wanting to find a word that would top that of his twin.
It was Elladan`s word that had startled Erestor. Though, too young to fully understand the full meaning of the word, the elfling had unknowingly triggered a memory that Erestor had not thought of in ages. The word itself was not truly what had effected Erestor, he had heard it plenty of times in his life. It was how it was said that had reminded Erestor most of another elf.
Erestor sat at his window, looking out at the view before him as the memory persisted. Leaning back, he closed his eyes and grinned as he thought back to that one day, so many years before.
“He what?” Erestor shouted as he had turned to face the younger elf. “Has he completely lost his mind? There is no time for such foolishness. Tell him I must see him at once.”
The young messenger could barely hold back a grin. He had been warned that this was the very reaction that Erestor would have.
“I am sorry, Erestor.” The ellon said calmly “ I have been ordered not to disturb him again unless the enemy is at our door.”
“I will be the enemy at his door if he continues with this.” Erestor hissed in reply. He shook his head and gave a frustrated sigh. He had to make Gil-galad see how foolish this was. His grin turned almost wicked as he thought of the only other elf that could help
“Cirdan” He called out as he rushed into main dining hall. “He is at it again.” He added, stopping in front of where the older elf was sitting
“ Who is?” Cirdan asked casually, though he had a very good idea who. There was only one who could get Erestor riled up this much, which seem to amuse everyone else.
“Gil.” Erestor replied. “Do you have any idea what the consequence of his action could be?”
Cirdan sighed as he placed his glass gently back on the table then slowly turned to face Erestor. He could clearly see the frustration in Erestor's eyes and it took a great amount of his own will power not to roll his own.
“What exactly is it he is doing, Erestor?” Cirdan asked calmly
“He has decided to take the day off,” Erestor told him “refuses to leave his room and do what is expected of him.”
Cirdan glanced briefly at the elf sitting beside him when the elf had chuckled. Luckily, Erestor had not heard.
“It his right, as High King.” Cirdan pointed out “It is but one day only”
“He is being lazy.” Erestor hissed
“Also his right as..” Cirdan did not bother to finish as Erestor had already stormed out of the room.
“Is he always that way?” One of the other elves asked
“Gil riles him up daily.” Cirdan nodded. “ personally I think he likes seeing how fired up Erestor can get.” He added, chuckling lightly.
* * *
It had not taken Erestor long to reach Gil-galad's chamber door. He had yet to request entry into the High King's chamber and instead paced up and down the hall. There was a small part of him that believed Cirdan was right, that Gil-galad did deserve a day to himself. A larger part felt that it could wait until after all they had planned was taken care of.
“Stop pacing and enter already.” Gil-galad's voice was heard clearly through the door and Erestor had stood frozen as he stared at the door at first then finally opened the chamber door and stepped inside
“Close it.” Gil-galad said, finally turning to face Erestor once the door had been closed. “I can only assume you are here to voice your opinion.”
Erestor arched an eyebrow but then nodded silently in reply. It was not often that Erestor was at a loss for words, however, until now, he had never seen Gil-galad without a tunic on. The High King's leggings were also a tight fit but it was Gil's muscled chest that had Erestor's attention for the moment.
“Erestor.” The amused sound of Gil-galad's voice seemed to pull Erestor from his thoughts. “what is it you wish to say?”
“Lithe.” Erestor commented without even realizing it. It was Gil-galad's light chuckle that finally seem to break though to Erestor and he glared at Gil-galad's
“You cannot ignore your duties like this.” Erestor told him “ There is still many things that need to be done.”
Gil-galad shook his head in reply as he poured himself a drink and dropped down onto his sofa. He would always enjoy seeing Erestor fired up like this.
“I agree,”he said after sipping his drink “we do still have many things to be done, yet they can wait until tomorrow.” he added
“Gil,” Erestor began, speaking a little more calm than he felt at the moment “We are on the verge of another war, we must write a missive to the other realm's and....”
“Then you write them.” Gil-galad interrupted him. “Is that not part of your duty as well and also why I made you one of my councilor's?”
Erestor had not expected Gil-galad's reply. In his mind he marched into the room and would manage to talk some sense into the older elf and they would both return to Gil-galad's office.
“I know what needs to be done, Erestor.” Gil-galad continued “it is all we have been doing for weeks. I need a break.” He told the younger elf. “So I am taking one. It is not one day that will make a difference.” He said, holding up his hand when he saw that Erestor has been about to reply “ my mind is made up, my friend.” he grinned “I plan to lounge about quietly in my private chambers, no matter what your opinion of my decision may be.”
Erestor remained where he stood as he glared at the older elf. It was obvious that there would be no changing Gil-galad's mind. Though he still believed it was a bad idea, Erestor finally gave a formal bow in the High King's direction and turned to leave the room
“Erestor?' Gil-galad called out to him as he stood up. “I will have to find a word that best describes you.” He said, grinning at the confused look Erestor was giving him “ you seemed to favor the word lithe when you first entered the room.”
Erestor could still hear Gil-galad's laughter as he left the room, closing the door behind him. Reaching up, he ran his hand through his hair slowly. Realizing he was leaning against Gil-galad's door, he pushed himself off and headed towards the office. Unlike others, he had work that needed to be taken care of.
* * *
Dinner had been about to be served by the time Erestor was done. Making his way to the dining hall, he expected to see Gil-galad there. He was wrong
“Is he not joining us?” Erestor could not help but ask. He gave Cirdan a look when the older elf merely grinned and shook his head in reply “He may wish to ignore his duties but this is just unacceptable.” he said, though no one seemed to be paying attention.
As Cirdan looked up, he saw only the back of Erestor as the fiery elf had left the dining hall. He leaned back in his seat and gave the others around him an amused grin
“ I would feel sorry for Gil-galad,” he said “ only I know he is doing this on purpose.” He added “Perhaps it is Erestor who I should feel sorry for.” He added, making those around him laugh.
Once again, Erestor found himself at Gil-galad's door. This time, however, he did not knock or even wait to be told to enter. He merely pushed the door opened and marched in, slamming the door closed behind him
“It is one thing to ignore your duties.” Erestor snapped at him, “It is just plain rude to now show up to dinner.”
“Erestor, what a surprise,” Gil-galad grinned, leaning back in his chair as he motioned towards the food. “care for something to eat?”
The youngest of the two elves, glanced towards the table and arched an eyebrow slightly. The table was set up for two and from what he could see, a few of Erestor's favorites foods were available
“You planned this.” He stated, turning his head slightly to look at Gil-galad “ why?”
“You work too hard.” Gil-galad replied casually. Pouring them both a drink and offering one to Erestor as he watched the younger elf slowly take a seat across from him
“You say the same to Cirdan.” Erestor pointed out.” Yet you do not plan to dine alone with him.”
“Would you prefer I dine with him?” The High King asked
Gil-galad chuckled when Erestor had replied quickly. Judging by the light blush that Erestor now had, he was sure that Erestor had not planned to answer as quickly as he had.
“Tell me one thing, Gil-galad.” Erestor could no long hold back his curiosity. “Will you be having more of these days off?”
Gil-galad almost choked on his drink as he began to laugh. He managed to apologize to Erestor first before he could reply
“I will take a day off only if I feel the need to.” He replied. “There is nothing wrong with enjoying sometime off, regardless of the title you hold.” he quickly added
“It is mere laziness.” Erestor sighed “duties much be done if we are to stay ahead of our enemies.”
"Erestor.” Gil-galad almost shouted “answer me this, councilor. Would you so easily follow me into battle knowing I was tired and weary? Or perhaps if my own thoughts were not clear and I was distracted?” He asked, sipping his drink as he waited for an answer
“I would follow..”
“I expect you to be honest with me.” Gil told him sharply “If you knew very little about me, you would follow me under those conditions?”
“No, I suppose I would not.” Erestor finally replied
“Well I am weary and tired.” Gil admitted “For weeks now I have heard everyone's opinions of how I should handle things, what I should be writing and to who.” He said, sighing as he leaned his head back and ran his hands though his hair “I needed to have one day of peace, my friend. If this makes me lazy by your standards, then so be it.”
Erestor watched as Gil-galad moved from the table and went to look out his balcony doors. When the High King said nothing else, Erestor got up as well and moved behind him friend. He grinned as he heard Gil moaning as he massages his shoulders
“Gil, you did not really...”
“Answer your question?” Gil-galad snapped. “Yes, Erestor I plan to have more days off.”
Still grinning, Erestor turned Gil around so that the two stood facing each other. He kept his hands on his shoulders and continued to give him a light massage.
“You really need to stop interrupting me.' Erestor told him “ What I was going to say was you really did not need to give me a long explanation.” he said “ I would have settled with you telling me you needed to relax.”
“You, councilor,” Gil sighed, shaking his head “ are almost impossible to figure out.”
“I had not realized you were trying.” Erestor replied. “I may have made it easier.”
“No, don't” Gil-galad replied “ I have been enjoying the challenge.” He added.
“Have you found your word yet?” Erestor asked him suddenly, not even sure why it mattered. Something seemed different about Gil-galad. He seemed more relaxed now and Erestor was not sure if it was because of the massage or if, and he would hate to admit this, it had to do with Gil having had a day to relax.
“For you?” Gil-galad asked, chucking when Erestor nodded “ There is a few I could use.”
“Is there?” Erestor asked, his curious side showing once more
“Indeed.” the older elf nodded,enjoy the questioning look that Erestor was giving him. He wondered if the other elf even know of the effect Erestor had on him. “ The first one that came to mind was fetching.”
“Fetching?” Erestor arched an eyebrow
“Yes fetching,” Gil chuckled. “as well as charming and captivating.”
“Is that all?” Erestor asked before he could stop himself. He found that he would not look away from Gil-galad now. Their eyes seemed to remain locked as Erestor waited to see if he would be given a reply, and what the reply might be.
“Evocative.” Gil-galad replied after having taken a while to think about it. He grinned as Erestor seemed to take a minute to let his reply sink in
“You find me evocative?' Erestor asked quietly
“Erestor, My dear councilor, “ he laughed lightly “ You have no idea.” He added. Before Erestor could ask any more questions, Gil-galad had kissed him deeply. Both elves had been left breathless when the kiss had finally come to an end.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
It took a moment for Erestor to realize that the knocking he was hearing was not part of the memory. Pulled from his thoughts, he turned away from the window a moved to open his door
“Elrond?” He arched an eyebrow when he saw his long time friend and Lord at his door
“Elladan was worried and came to me.” Elrond replied as he stepped inside Erestor's room. “ He said you looked a little disturbed after you heard the word he chose for the day.”
“Disturbed?' Erestor asked, shaking his head
“I believe Elladan said you looked a little pale.” Elrond replied “ Though as you always appear that way, I wonder how he was even able to tell.” He teased
Erestor rolled his eyes even as he barely managed to hold back a light chuckle. He should not have been surprised that Elladan may have noticed something. The oldest of Elrond's twins seem to have a talent for sensing these things, much like his father
“I assure you, Elrond, I am fine.” He replied “ I admit, Elladan's choice of words had caught me off guard but not in a bad way.” he added “ it merely brought back a memory.”
“Gil-galad.” Elrond replied, knowingly. Most of Erestor's memories always involved the former High King in some way.
“Of course.” Erestor nodded. “He was fond of finding different words to describe others.” he said, “Elladan's word was one he often called me.”
“And that, my friend, is where I shall stop you,” Elrond chuckled, “why Gil-galad chose to call you evocative is for you to know only.” he added
“I had no plans to tell you either.” Erestor grinned “Nor will I tell you exactly what I would evoke.”
“you are as incorrigible as ever.” Elrond said, “ and though I am sure to regret asking.” he added “ I find my self curious, what word did you have to describe him?”
“Lithe.” Erestor replied then laughed when Elrond bid him good night and closed his door as he left. Leaning against his door, Erestor once again thought back to that night and how they had spent the night evoking many feelings from each other, both of them taking the next day off.
Laying in his bed later that evening, it was Erestor's favorite word for Gil-galad that ran through his mind now. Perhaps he should not have told Elrond what it had been for now every memory of why he used that word for his former lover came to mind. One memory more vivid than the others as it had been one of the last days that Erestor would spend with Gil.
Erestor had slipped out of bed as Gil-galad slept. It was only during the night now when Erestor could feel any peace. The days were almost chaotic as they once again prepared to go to war. However, it was not the upcoming battle that had Erestor worried. Gil looked more tired then ever and Erestor had not been the only one to notice either. Cirdan had also made a few comments. Gil, as was his way, has assured them he was fine before he changed the subject.
“You worry too much.” Gil's voice had reached Erestor as the councilor stood by the balcony doors, enjoying the feel of the night's cool breeze.
“Perhaps you do not worry enough.” Erestor replied quietly. Turning slowly, he headed back to bed and did not resist as Gil-galad's arms wrapped around him and guiding him back down down. “you are exhausted, Gil, no good can come of it.”
Smiling at his lover, Gil-galad lowered his head and kissed Erestor slowly, chucking when he heard the other elf moan lightly into the kiss
“I will take one day off .” Gil told him “on one condition.”
Erestor somehow knew he was not going to like this and judging by the wicked grin his lover now had, he was right.
“What is your one condition?” He asked, sounding almost as nervous as he felt. It was a feeling that only Gil-galad seemed to be able to bring out in him, and the high king knew this
“You also must take the day off.” Gil replied, laughing when he saw the look in Erestor eyes. “you exhaust yourself worrying about me.” he pointed out “ Do not think I have not noticed.” he added “we both need a day that is worry free.”
“Should I agree to this, and I am not sure I will.” Erestor told him “just how do you want us to spend this day off?”
The wicked grin that Gil had just a few minutes ago was nothing compared to the one he wore now. The look in his eyes could be considered dangerous to anyone who did not know him, however Erestor did know him and that look made him shiver.
“Do not worry, Erestor.” He chuckled, “ we will not spend our day in bed” he added then kissed Erestor deeply “ well, perhaps, not all of it.”
Any reply Erestor may have had was soon forgotten as Gil once again kissed him. As he always did, Erestor gave himself willingly to his very skilled lover and enjoyed every minute of it. It only briefly occurred to him that it was now past sunrise and their cries of passion could be heard quite clearly by many who walked along the halls outside Gil-galad's chamber doors. Just one touch from Gil could always make him forget anything and everything.
“I do believe you said we would not spend the day in bed.” Erestor said a while later as he had finally been able to catch his breath, Gil-galad's head resting against his chest and Erestor combed his fingers finger his lover's hair slowly.
“And we shall not be.” Gil replied. “ There is the dresser or perhaps the table again.” He added, laughing at the look Erestor gave him yet he had not failed to see the interest in his lover's eyes as well
“Come, Erestor.” He said, sharing one more kiss with him. “ Let us enjoy a walk to the lake where we can enjoy our day to ourselves.” he said “ I will inform the others that we are not to be disturbed.”
It was not long before the two elves were walking slowly down the path that lead to the lake. The light breeze seemed to relax them both and Erestor was glad he allowed Gil-galad to convince him to have this day off. He glanced casually at his lover and could see the small smile that Gil had.
“You were right.” Erestor said “is that what you wished to hear?”
Gil-galad shook his head as he reached for Erestor's hand and held it gently in his own. He remained silent until they reached the lake and found a a nice secluded place to sit and enjoy each others company
“It was not about being right, Erestor.” He said finally, wrapping his arm around him as they leaned against the tree they sat in front of. “I know I push myself too far at times and for too long.” he admitted. “I am aware of how worried you get when I do this.”
“Then why do it?” Erestor asked, allowing Gil to guide him down so his head was resting in Gil-galad's lap and he could enjoy the feel of his lover's hand moving through his hair
“At times, I do not have a choice.” Gil replied. “Too many depend on me and now that we must soon fight, I need to make sure we have all the advantages we can get.” He said, sighing softly. “There is much to do still.”
“I know.” Erestor replied and began to feel guilty that they were spending a day relaxing. He sat up slowly and started to tell this to Gil.
“Do not feel guilty.” He said. “ You were right, I did need this.” He said, motioning to the lake as they could hear the soft sounds of the water. “we both did.” he added.
“Gil, I..” He started to speak but Gil-galad just pulled him in closer and kissed him deeply, leaving t hem both breathless once the kiss had ended
“You have been too good to me, Erestor.” The high King told him “ as a friend and as a lover.” he added “sometimes I feel as if I have not done enough for you in return..” he said. “This battle will be no small fight., as yo know..”
“You have done enough for me.” Erestor started to reply, only to have Gil-galad silence him with a kiss once again. “stop doing that.”
The high King laughed and shook his head in reply, pulling Erestor into his arms as they both moved to lay in the grass.
“I fear things will get worse before then can improve.” Gil said “I want today to be the day you can think back on should times get too dark. Let this be the memory you use to get you through whatever dark times you may face.”
“We will face them together.” Erestor said, looking up as Gil had leaned up over him
“Side by side.” Gil agreed as he locked eyes with the elf beneath him.
“now shut up and kiss me already.” Erestor commanded as he tried not to laugh. Gil-galad, however did not hold back his laughter before he once again claimed Erestor's mouth in a kiss that left them both breathless and aching for more.
* ~* ~ *
Erestor had been awake since just before dawn. He moved out onto his balcony to watch the sunrise as he played the memory over and over in his mind. Though they had never admitted it, Erestor knew without a doubt that Gil had loved him as much as as he had loved Gil. Erestor had not known at the time that their day at the lake would be the last day they would ever share together. Thinking back to Gil's words that day, he wondered if maybe his former love had known he would not live through that war.
Later, as he made his way to the study hall. The twins, he knew would already be waiting for their daily lesson. He wasn't sure at first what the day's lesson would be but as a thought came to him, he grinned. He suddenly had the perfect assignment for the twins. It may not be an easy one but he was sure the twins could handle it, if not, he was prepared to gather some reinforcement.
As he entered the hall, he immediately saw the concerned look from both Elladan and Elrohir. He knew then that they were still concerned from his reaction the day before and it made him believe that the plan he had was not only a good one but was needed as well. It was a lesson he had learned from Gil-galad and he wanted to make sure the twins knew this, as well as a few others.
“Let me get straight to the point.” He started “ today's assignment will be the hardest you have had yet.' He said, grinning as he heard the young twins groaning. “ and possibly even dangerous.” he added. He knew he had their full attention now.
Leaving his desk, he moved closer to where the twins sat and leaned between them, looking around briefly to make sure no one else would hear, or so he wanted them to believe.
“What would like us to do? “ Elladan whispered and Erestor almost laughed as Elrohir's head lifted as the younger elf looked around now as well.
“This will be challenging.”He told them. “ are you sure you are up to this?” he asked, grinning as they both nodded in reply “however, you will both enjoy the rewards should you accomplish your task.” he added
“Very well” Erestor replied “It is your task to convince your parents to spend the day by the river.” He told them. “ A wise elf, many years ago, showed me the importance of enjoying a day off. I believe your parents, mostly your father, need to learn this lesson.”
“who is this elf?” Elladan asked, always the more curious of the twins
“that, my young Prince, will be part of the reward.” Erestor grinned,” should you manage to convince your parents to join us at the lake, I will tell you all about this elf.”
He laughed when both young elves ran down the hall and he could her them calling for their parents. As he looked towards the door, he saw Celebrian standing there.
“Must you encourage them so?” She grinned
“Yes.” Erestor chuckled as he walked over. He gave a slight bow in her direction then held his arm out for her.
“Come, my lady.” He grinned as she took his arm. “ I believe your husband may need rescuing.”
~ The End ~