All the sunshine of the morning could do nothing to light the empty darkness that poisoned Glorfindel’s heart. It had been the same since he first stepped foot back into Middle-earth, back from the cold halls of Mandos. The memory of being dead, bodiless and vulnerable, haunted him still. It filled him even as the rays of Anor basked his skin and golden hair. It should have offered him warmth, but nothing could provide comfort to that which was touched by the empty air of Mando’s halls.
What business did he have coming back here? Why had he chosen to return to a world where none remembered him save in tales that only brought back the memory of his painful death?
He covered his face in his hands, pretending it was just an ache that pained him in that moment. The darkness inside him was such that he almost missed the laughter nearby. It was Gildor, who was amongst other elves lost in his merriment and company to notice the strange elf of legends, who seldom spoke a word to any.
Glorfindel studied the jolly elf, and his eyes narrowed in envy as though his stare could penetrate through Gildor’s smile and perhaps steal some of that joy for himself. In that moment, Gildor turned his eyes towards him; and Gildor’s smile faded, replaced by a look of surprise at the intensity of the elf lord’s stare. Glorfindel turned his head back around, suddenly embarrassed by his actions. This was not a manner in which he normally behaved, and the thought that he was slowly slipping into shadow, becoming empty and bitter like the very balrog he destroyed, was agonizing.
He needed to get out, lest the scream that had been building inside him boiled out.
“It is such a lovely day,” Gildor said, “yet not a bit of it do I see reflected in your eyes, my lord.”
Glorfindel studied the elf before him, wondering what mad idea possessed Gildor to seek him out alone outside of the Last Homely House. The offer to speak with another was tempting, but Glorfindel did not trust himself to open his mouth, lest the shadows and flames that stormed inside him would pour out, as though somehow he would wind up killing the poor elf.
But Glorfindel did not need to speak to convey the horrors that preoccupied him. Gildor saw it instantly, as though he possessed the gift of penetrating through thoughts.
“Something ails you, that is no doubt,” he said softly, and Glorfindel glanced away, wishing Gildor would leave him to his own thoughts. “Though I cannot imagine what in beloved Imladris could pain you so. Nay, I believe I know exactly what it is that is poisoning you, but I see this is not a matter which you want brought up. Come with me, Glorfindel. Words are not what you require for your healing.”
The scrutiny under Gildor’s eyes seemed to drain the last of Glorfindel’s energy, but he complied with Gildor’s request. He glanced at Gildor, taking in the beautiful face and wondered how could eyes hold so much light and love in them, when not a single drop if either seemed to exist within his own body. And when Gildor took his hand and led him far from the other homes, and away from the river, with a painful pang Glorfindel realized that he was once like Gildor: ready to help any in need with no mention of anything in return.
It was a lonesome house they came upon. They had traveled so far from the city of Imladris that the sudden appearance of the large structure took Glorfindel by surprise.
Gildor chuckled. “From the far reaches of Imladris you come upon this home, never finished and perhaps never will.”
Glorfindel studied the tall grass around them. “For what reason does this house stand here alone?”
“It was never meant to be alone,” Gildor said. “An entire community was to be built here, but the project was abandoned. Any elf or man or guest who lives in Rivendell reside among the main community. But come inside with me! Watching the world from these windows are a great pleasure.”
Nothing could have prepared Glorfindel for what greeted him inside. The rays of Anor beamed down at them from the windows in every color imaginable. The windows he now noticed were each tinted, turning the grand room inside into a pool of warm light and color. From where he stood he could see that each rooms were tinted in particular ways as to evoke a mood in each: one with soft pinks and violets, the other in hues of blue.
Scattered about them were also abandoned supplies that would have been used to furnish the house, and small insignificant objects tossed and forgotten by others who have visited the house before them.
“Who would abandon the construction of such a magnificent place?” Glorfindel thought. He considered how to resume work on the project. But the thoughts did not linger in his mind for long, for he was more interested to take in as much of the house as he could than become lost in thoughts.
They found a comfortable spot in one room where the glass had not yet been stained. For hours they stayed in this room, watching the peaceful ongoings of the world outside. Glorfindel’s attention turned to the unfurnished walls, taking note of the cracks that ran throughout the room.
“Very much like this house I feel,” Glorfindel said. “Incomplete. Fragile. Breaking.”
“There is another room I wish you to see,” Gildor said.
Though the light in the other room was very bright and warm, Glorfindel felt every bone in his body freeze. He had walked into an inferno, and the foul breath of the balrog was upon his face. He heard Gildor shuffle his feet behind him, and he was suddenly aware that there was no balrog in the room, yet it was everywhere at the same time.
He glanced back at Gildor, wondering of his intentions of bringing him into a room with fiery light.
“It is beautiful, is it not?” Gildor said gently. “There is no shadow that can swallow you into darkness here.”
“There is no shadow, yet the light of this room is like the flame…”
The urge to run away was great, but Gildor kept him in his place by wrapping his arms around him. “Why must the light of fire be the flames from the balrog? Not all fire is evil. Think of the flames that flicker in a hearth, or the desire that dances in the heart.”
Glorfindel willed himself to relax in Gildor’s embrace, but his body remained stiff. This was no manner in which he wanted to confront his fears. But before he could break free from Gildor’s arms, the other elf’s lips were upon his neck, and Glorfindel let out a small gasp as the tender kiss sent pleasurable little jolts through his spine. His trembling turned into the shivers of need.
Gently Gildor led Glorfindel to the ground as his hands brushed against his nipples through clothes he was soon freed from. Without his clothes Glorfindel was reminded of his vulnerability before the flames took him. Fire was around him, and the agony of death threatened to crush him. All thoughts of desire slipped away as the fear overtook him, but then warm fingers entwined with his, and Gildor’s lips were against his.
He held tight to Gildor’s hand, needing the sense of security, and Gildor did not move away. His other hand roamed about his back and buttocks before coming up again, caressing his shoulders then sliding down his stomach. A moan escaped him as the warm fingers curled around his cock, the thumb playfully swirling around at the tip. Each light brush nearly sent him over the edge.
Glorfindel was never a careless lover, wanting his partner to achieve the same pleasure as him, if not greater. Yet in this moment he could not move, wanting to focus the pleasure on himself. And Gildor obliged, and happily so, kissing him deeply and whispering softly to him whenever their lips parted.
The pleasure mounted till he was engulfed in the fiery waves of passion. A part of his agony seemed to have escaped along with his seed that trailed down Gildor’s fingers. As Glorfindel caught his breath, his head resting lazily against Gildor’s chest, he studied the erotic scene before him, his cock and Gildor’s hand covered in his own seed. It was too much for him to move, and Gildor had to gently lay him on the floor, which he did with the most tender care. Gildor rested beside him, his arm draped over his torso. The fire-like light danced before him, but the threat of the impending darkness was overpowered by the chuckles and the gentle sound of Gildor’s song.
In time the change in Glorfindel was noted by many in Rivendell, as the once sullen elf lord had taken on more life. The change in his mannerism had revealed his beauty to them: the light of the stars were upon his eyes, his long hair golden and bright. His closeness with Gildor was also noted by many, though none thought the friendship between the two elves ran any deeper. None knew of their escapades to the abandoned home in the farthest reaches of the land, veiled from view by the trees and tall grass.
This house had become their sanctuary, the place where they let their love grow untamed. Here they abandoned their troubles and duties, and their love became the focus. In the room with green light they pretended they were playful children once more - and naughty children at that - lost in the forest. In the blue room Glorfindel died and returned to life with each twitch of Gildor’s hands and mouth.
They came to the pink and violet room only when they had brought wine with them, for the colors of this room brought on a light-hearted mood perfect for laughter. In one of those times, when they had stayed well past the night, Glorfindel would wake to find that they had yet again taken to play with the trinkets abandoned by previous visitors. About his cock Gildor - or perhaps it was himself, he could not recall - had clumsily tied a pink baby bonnet.
The intoxication from the drink was still in his system. He was aware that he held an object, and thinking that it was Gildor’s cock, he was surprised to see it was a toy wand. He could not recall what he had done with it, for he was certain his other hand was giving Gildor a tortuous night of pleasure.
A moan beside him alerted him to Gildor’s state. He slept on his stomach, and upon his back were beautiful transparent wings. Glorfindel took in their beauty for a few moments before chuckling.
“What game did we play the night before?”
He kissed Gildor awake, ignoring the groans of protest from his lover.
“Next time I would prefer flesh inside flesh, if you take my meaning,” Gildor said. He didn’t look up at Glorfindel but instead had his head covered in his arms.
“But Ecthelion always did it that way,” Glorfindel said as the memory struck him. The images in his mind was already awakening his desire, but before he could get a handle on himself, Gildor looked up and his eyes fell on the bonnet.
“And who is this acquaintance of yours?” he said, clearly still in a state of intoxication. He nodded to the bonnet. “Mae govannen, mellon.”
After that experience they seldom mingled wine with their lovemaking, preferring to remain alert of their every move, savoring each moment together. For many happy years this went, and with it the house too took on a transformation that made it comfortable for them to live in. They kept the grass tall, preferring the sound of the blades rustling against the windows.
On one morning in early summer Glorfindel awoke to find Gildor not by his side but sitting before the window enjoy the morning glow. This room was one of the very few whose windows were not placed, and oftentimes Glorfindel pondered what sort of theme he would add this room.
“Something preoccupies you,” Glorfindel said. Though Gildor’s face was still jolly and full of love, there was no mistaking the distant look in his eyes, as was the manner whenever he contemplated over some matter.
“I have been thinking about the leaving Imladris for a while,” he said. “Perhaps travel for a time with others from here. And afterwards, I would leave to the West.”
In an instant Glorfindel felt his heart turn cold. “You are leaving Middle-earth? Never have I heard you speak of it! What brought the idea to you?”
Gildor kissed him deeply. “In time all elves must go West, even you. You were once there, but you returned to serve a purpose. I would like to think I had helped make you strong again, so you could help Middle-earth in its darkest hour yet.”
And indeed Glorfindel had grown powerful over the years; his strength had become as legendary as his beauty and liveliness. “But must I go about this alone?”
“Perhaps,” Gildor said. “I do not think it is best for either of us to be close in the coming years. You must defend Middle-earth. I must visit lands I’ve dreamt of my entire life and say my farewells. I must see Lord Elrond right away.”
He made for the door, and Glorfindel followed him, unable to decide if he should beg Gildor to come back or let him go.
Gildor paused before the door and turned back to Glorfindel. “I built this house many seasons before we met, but I halted when I realized I would not remain here for long. Finish this place in any way you wish. I will rebuild this home, and the others I had planned, in Valinor; and there I will wait for you if you still wish for my company.”
“I would keep you here if I could,” Glorfindel said.
Gildor laughed. “You would deny the one you love a chance to see this world?”
“If I must confess, I am not certain I am ready to leave this haven,” Glorfindel said.
“You are ready, I assure you,” Gildor said. “As I am ready to venture past this valley. I will not bid you farewell, for I know this is not the last time we will speak with one another. This will not be the last you will hear of me.”
“Yes, my love?”
“Why did you help me many years ago, when I returned from Mando’s Halls?”
Gildor’s only response was a smile.
They kissed for the last time in how long, Glorfindel did not know. He bid Gildor a safe and joyous journey, and as he watched Gildor ride off to the Last Homely House he turned his eyes to Anor, whose rays shone on the world like fire. After taking a deep breath, Glorfindel returned back to the house to fetch his belongings. His work starts today.