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Story Notes:
Beta: oli…x, thank you for the marvellous help!!!

Disclaimer: Sadly, the only thing I own is the plot but none of the characters or places in it… they are all Tolkien’s and of course I’m not earning any money with this.
SCRIPTS:
‘Thoughts’; ~visions~; **mind speech**; Letters

~*~
The wheels of life keep turning.
Spinning without control;
The wheels of the heart keep yearning.
For the sound of the singing soul.
And nights are full with weeping.
For sins of the past we’ve sown;
But, tomorrow is ours for the keeping,
Tomorrow the future’s shown.

Lift your eyes and see the glory.
Where the circle of life is drawn;
See the never-ending story,
Come with me to the Gates of Dawn.
(Secret Garden, Gates of Dawn)
~*~

Arwen sat at Erestor’s desk, the chair turned to the large windows facing the courtyard of Imladris, a small embroidery frame in her lap. With secure, swift movements, she interweaved the fine fabric with tenuous threads of different reds, creating the delicate pattern of a single red rose. Every once in a while her head went up to gaze down into the courtyard far below or beyond it to the narrow road that lead to Imladris.

It was of course not her usual choice to go for her needlework, and certainly not one of the most beautiful places in Imladris but it was the only place where she could carry out the next stage of her current endeavour, a very important endeavour as it concerned not less than the happiness of a friend; for if one thing was more certain than it was the stubbornness of her fellow elves. One could not simply rely on them to find the joy in their life, no, one had to ensure that they would finally run into it – with full speed before they could shy away from the inevitable.

While she was waiting in the one chamber within Imladris where she could undisturbed watch the courtyard for incoming elves, the present object of her scheming - a certain white haired minstrel - was unwittingly fulfilling his part of the plan in his own chambers, attempting to write a little trifle for the one who held his heart. That Lindir was too shy for his own good and that the poem or song or whatever it was, would never reach the marchwarden’s ears by Lindir’s own doing was of no importance for now; because Arwen had decided to interfere.
If nothing happened soon, Haldir would return homewards and both stubborn elves would probably convince themselves that they weren't really in love, that it was just a little crush and that the other couldn't possibly be interested. As matters stood right now, Arwen didn't think they needed more than a gentle push in the right direction. But soon nonetheless.

And so, after learning from her grandmother that Haldir and his brothers would return within two hours Arwen had grasped the opportunity to follow through with her plans and corner Lindir one more time. As she had expected the peaceable minstrel soon agreed to make his feelings known in the form of a little piece of poetry, merely trying to stop his lady from pestering him further. Of course both of them knew that he would never show it to Haldir and Arwen thought poetry as a present far too corny anyhow ... but to stumble over the desperate and utterly fruitless attempt to give words to ones feeling was a totally different matter.

Finally the sound of hooves heralded the returning patrol and carefully Arwen set her needlework aside and gathered her gown. It was time to proceed to the next stage.

Hurrying through Erestor’s office, along fair corridors and halls and rushing down the staircases she made her way to the courtyard where the soldiers were gratefully dismounting, tiredly and eagerly yearning for a warm bath, a good meal and a comfortable bed; probably in that order.
Her eyes drifted over the patrol, examining their dusty uniforms that were thankfully free from blood and tearing. Obviously they had not come upon enemies or had been able to take them out from afar with their long bows – which it was she could not say. She could not with a good conscience have approached Haldir with matters of the heart when Imladrian soldiers had been brought home dead or injured.

Overacting her relief, Arwen tried for a serious expression and approached the marchwardens without delay.
“Haldir” Arwen called out and the silver haired turned to her in surprise.

“My lady, what is it?”

“Haldir, you *have* to come with me, quickly!” Grasping his arm she steered him away from the other soldiers, ignoring the questioning and slightly confused gazes from Haldir and his brothers.

“Did something happen, my lady?” Haldir asked even while he helplessly shrugged his shoulders and mouthed a ‘join you later’ towards Rúmil and Orophin.

“I really don’t know.” Arwen sighed, her brow deeply lined with concern.

“It is about Lindir...” the lady started, never slowing her steps.

“What happened?” Haldir asked, maybe a little bit brusquely and abruptly turned towards the dark haired elleth.

“Peace, mellon! He is well ... at least physically that is.” Arwen turned to the serious marchwarden, her expression grave.
“I don’t know what happened between the two of you but ever since you left, he was so ... agitated, fearing for you. Daily he asked me if my grandmother had gotten news from you.”
Once Haldir learned that this was nothing but white lies they would hopefully have solved out their relationship. At least Arwen hoped that the two stubborn ellyn would bow to the inevitable soon.

“And when today I told him that you were to return, he burst into tears! Every consolation was in vain. Haldir, he is so hopeless!”

Dumbfounded the marchwarden turned away. “He cried because he learned I would return?”

“He cried because he was happy that you’d be safe and because he realised that you’d be gone from his life nonetheless!” Arwen dearly hoped that she was not overdoing the drama, but she needed the marchwarden to search out Lindir now! Besides, she would not put such a rampant display of emotions beyond the fiery minstrel. And so she brought her lily-white hand up to turn his face gently towards her, letting her eyes overflow with compassion and concern.

“Can you not give him hope? Don’t you love him back? For he loves you with all his heart, this he told me.”

Uncomfortable at such directness, Haldir lowered his gaze. “It is not that easy! I cannot leave the golden trees of my beloved Lothlóriën and he has much that binds him to Imladris.”

Taking the marchwarden’s hand into her left and once again raising his chin with the right, Arwen smiled at him. “And if you saw each other only once a decade, wouldn’t your life be richer nonetheless for it? If you saw each other only briefly for visits in each other’s homeland, would it matter? The day will come when the elves leave this shore, and then you’ll be together anyway! If this is what keeps you from him then take heart: there is not space enough to part two immortals!”

Shaking his head wearily, Haldir took a step back. “This is not something to decide so spontaneously...”

‘Oh no, my dear. You’ll not palm me off so easily!’ Arwen thought and followed his retreat. “Please, mellon. Every hour this stays unresolved is torturous for him! He does not know you love him back.”
Large, teary eyes regarded him pleadingly. “If you need to think about it, then tell him that. I just hate to see him like this, he has been crying the whole morning...”


~*~


Lindir strode to one of the large open windows of his chambers, absent-mindedly drumming a fast rhythm on the fair wood. Then he bit his lips and turned, his brow knitted in agitation.

“Gone!” he murmured desperately and wrung his hands. “All gone!”

Back to his desk he went, and with a determined shake of his head he sat down, took up the quill made of a beautiful grained hawk feather that Erestor had gifted him with not so long ago and leaned forward over the bright white paper lying patiently on the wood there. Long moments passed while the head minstrel of Imladris sat tight in that manner, then ...

“All you Valar, hear me! I take no stock in your weird humour!” He cried out.

All those years he had been supplied with elegant rhymes, beautiful verses of love and great deeds. In front of hundreds he had sung about the heroes of old times, about those boundless loves that vanquished all hardship only to now be absolutely bereft of words befitting such a ... such a ... the Valar were just too cruel.

“A'maelamin ... One would not call you beautiful, but you are to me!”
With a tormented sigh, Lindir started to bite his lip. It was not the most malign whisper he had heard about the proud Galadhrim. Handsome he was, in that hard way. But no classic beauty.
”I’ve heard them call you haughty, but this I’ve yet to see.”
And he would never know how anyone could call the silver haired ellon such, he had even protected an unconscious Faelon from Lindir’s temper!
”There are those with warmer eyes, they say, more generous and wise than you...
but for me you are the purest of all, and another would not do...”

Slumping down on the table, Lindir buried his head in the crook of his arm and his voice sounded muffled as he continued.
“And yet there might be an age or two, I do not even know,
that separates me from you, that keeps me from you now.
And if it weren’t for time alone, the distance would part us anyway,
so far is yours from my home, and no words are left to say...”

For a moment only distant voices from the courtyard were heard as Lindir continued to wallow in his misery. “I cannot even form a decent rhyme anymore!”

A light rustle of clothing filled the air of the minstrel’s study, as the tall elf who had been standing there in the open doorway silently, for the Valar knew how long, suddenly broke his stillness to approach the desk. “I am no professional, but that sounded suspiciously like a rhyme to me...”

“It was horrible!” Came the small, muffled reply, then Lindir’s head shot up as it registered with him just who was standing in his doorway and he pushed himself up from the chair quickly. “Ha-Haldir! What...What are you doing here? I... that is ... are you all right? When did you return? I hope all went well...”

Patiently, Haldir let the young minstrel ramble on until his words died away and the fair eyes were cast downwards, a weak blush lending some colour to the otherwise pale skin.
“We did not encounter any Orcs and the Hillmen were still far from Imladris’ borders when our two enemies clashed. I am fine. And they will return to their lairs and lick their wounds for some time to come.”

Lindir’s blush deepened but he kept his gaze down, not daring to meet the other’s eyes. Valar, the marchwarden had heard his poor excuse of a spontaneous love poem, oh he was so embarrassed. If he was lucky, Haldir would be gentleman enough to not address it...

“It was beautiful.”
Lindir cringed. Of course luck never has been with him.

“It was horrible.” He repeated his earlier judgement, somewhat sheepishly.

“It was honest. I found it beautiful.”

As a pair of mud coated leather boots entered his field of vision, Lindir looked up, surprised to find the quiet marchwarden that close. Gently the silver haired ellon stroked the minstrel’s reddened cheek with a calloused thumb. “But maybe that¬¬ love of yours is not as hopeless as it seems to you right now?”

“Even a romantic must stay realistic sometimes.”

“But we are immortal, time for us is nothing but a relatively unimportant concept and therefore – in a way – space, too, because we have all the time in the world to bridge it.”

There was such gentleness in those grey orbs, such affection. Lindir couldn’t help it. Closing his eyes he leaned forward, gently letting his lips brush against Haldir’s in silent invitation. Surprised at first, Haldir soon let his arms wander around the slim waist to draw the sweet ellon closer, deepening the kiss. Desperately almost. Suddenly Haldir felt overcome with the need to get more of the younger elf, more of that untarnished liveliness to draw him in. And yet, he did not allow his passion to override sense, not wanting to defile the pure being in front of him; but the feeling that he was touching something forbidden remained.

When they finally parted for air, Lindir found himself sitting on his desk, the still empty parchment crumbling beneath him and he briefly wondered how he got there. Shaking the disruptive thought from his mind, Lindir laid his palms against Haldir’s well developed chest, letting them wander over the muscular shoulders. The build of an archer.
He could still feel the other’s unrest palpable like the first time they had met. Maybe the marchwarden was not as confident as he had pretended to be over their ... what? Relationship?

Stumbling over that thought his hands halted in their movements, coming to rest on Haldir’s pectorals and he looked up with surprised eyes. Of course he wanted the gallant marksman and when he was honest to himself, he would do nay to everything for him.

“I would follow you, you know? To Lothlóriën. Just not yet. I still have something...”

Calloused fingers silenced him. “Lindir, no. I would not take your home from you, your friends. That is not right.”
Gently his eyes smiled at the young minstrel, though his lips did not. “Give it time, we’ll find a way. And don’t you think that maybe it is a little bit early to speak about moving together?”

“But I am certain!” Lindir exclaimed and reached up to take Haldir’s face between his hands. “I might be far younger than you, but I know my heart. I am certain.”

Taking both of the minstrel’s hands, Haldir brought them in front of his face, gently pressing his lips first against one, then the other with a genuine smile. “I am glad then.”

And happily, Lindir smiled back.


~*~


Just outside on the balcony of the adjoining rooms, Arwen grinned smugly to herself.
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