It was Yule Eve in Imladris and although it was supposed to be a happy time at the table, Glorfindel was worried. His lover, Erestor, had not shown his face all day and from the fact that it was almost dessert time at the table and the scholar's chair still lay empty, it looked as if he would not see Erestor at all.
Concerned and unable to question Elrond, who was the only other person likely to know of Erestor's whereabouts, but who was occupied with relatives from the south, he excused himself from the table and went to Erestor's private rooms. On failing to find the elf there, he went to Erestor's study and, on opening the door and finding the scholar sitting and working at his desk, folded his arms and leaned against the door jamb.
"Is something wrong?" he asked. "I missed you at supper?"
Distracted by his voice, Erestor looked up and smiled slightly. Glorfindel noticed that the expression did not meet his eyes and his own eyes narrowed. "I have to finish translating these documents by the day after Yule, when the guests leave Imladris," he said. "Elrond is busy entertaining them and there is no one else in Imladris who is available to translate them."
Glorfindel pushed himself away from the jamb and walked over to the desk to look at the documents, which were as he had suspected, indecipherable to even him. He noticed that there was another thick volume that Erestor would need to struggle through - a possible threat to their planned activities tomorrow. "Is there anything that I can do for you?" he asked, leaning down to kiss his lover gently. "Fetch your dinner, perhaps?" he suggested as he pulled back.
Erestor did not get to finish, as on straightening, Glorfindel noticed that the elf's writing hand was bandaged. His eyes widened in alarm. "What happened to your hand?" he burst out, reaching down to pick up the limb and gazing at it, wondering which part was sore.
"Nothing." Erestor pulled his hand out of his grip. His voice was tired. "Go back to the feast. I will see you later."
Glorfindel frowned. "Erestor, do not brush me off."
Erestor pursed his lips and turned his head to look at him. There was a tight, funny smile on his face. "Well, to tell the truth, you are the cause of this injury," he said. "Remember this morning?"
"No. What did I do this morning?"
Erestor rolled his eyes and turned away. "Go back to the feast, Glorfindel. If I tell you anymore, you shall be so overcome with guilt that I shall hear nothing all Yule save for you apologising and begging for my forgiveness."
Glorfindel sighed. "Well if you leave the conversation like this, then you shall hear naught but my nagging you to tell me the rest of the tale," he said. "What did I do? Punch you in your sleep? Erestor, what did I do this time?"
"You recall crawling over me to fetch your Yule hat from your bedside table? Just before dawn? Still dark?"
"Mmm..." Glorfindel raised a hand and rubbed at his chin as he thought back to that morning. He remembered a dark bedroom. He remembered how cold it had been when he had crawled out of their bed. He recalled... He nodded slowly. "Aye, I remember," he said. "You woke up and wished me a good day."
"Well, if there had been more light, you would have also observed me grimacing and mouthing a strong curse," Erestor said. "As you were crawling, you put your knee on my hand - thus the injury."
Glorfindel's mouth opened slightly. Then he tilted his head and slowly nodded again, his brow creased. "Is that so." He looked anxiously down at the hand, which had slowly and painfully started to return to the task of translating the indecipherable text.
"Yes, 'tis so."
"My love, I am so sorry. I truly did not..."
"Yes, I know you did not know. That is why I did not tell you and then tried not to tell you and only did tell you when you started to nag me. Now please..."
"Let me call another scholar to do this work for..."
"No. You will just be wasting time for the both of us," Erestor said sourly. "Go back to the feast and let me work in peace."
"If I explained to Elrond, then..."
"Then you would have to apologise to his relatives - let the poor fellow have what little is left of his short holiday what with his in-laws in the realm. No need to add to his problems by asking him to cancel his evening and day of Yule and return to his desk."
There was an awkward silence. Then Glorfindel tried again. "Well, can I at least fetch you supper?"
"I am not hungry and I know my body and Imladris' Yule Eve celebratory food well enough to know that I will simply feel bloated and ill after eating any of the food from the table," Erestor said. "I work better on an empty stomach."
"Well, can I help in any way?"
"Aye, you can go away."
Erestor sighed heavily. "GO!" he snapped.
With heavy shoulders, Glorfindel leaned down and kissed his lover once more. As he pulled away, he said, sorrowfully, "Again, I am truly sorry, Erestor."
He received a grunt in response. With a mournful expression, Glorfindel turned and walked to the door. But just before he reached it, his face brightened and with mirth in his step, he turned and walked back to Erestor. The scholar was sitting, as usual, on the edge of his seat. So with a fluidity of motion honed by a few millennia of athletic activity in various barracks across the world, he slipped behind the scholar and sat down, curling his body around his lover.
Erestor stiffened like an angry cat. "What do you think you are doing?" he snapped, twisting around to look at him, looking rather like a spitting cat. "I do not have time for..."
He broke off when Glorfindel snatched the pen out of his hand and grinning, nodded over Erestor's shoulder at the documents on the desktop. "Come," he said. "You shall be my eyes and I shall be your hand. And this way, we may spend Yule Eve together."
"Eh? Are you mad?"
"Quite possibly," Glorfindel said. "I shall certainly be mad with desire for you by the time we are finished with this work at this proximity to your delectable body," he said, kissing his lover on the nose. "So let us hurry up."
Erestor slowly turned back to face the documents on his desk. "But you do realise that your hand writing is very much different from mine?"
"And do you really think Elrond, a healer, will care if this is written in my hand considering your injury?"
"Well, no. He would probably tell me off only for not seeing him sooner with such an injury."
"Exactly." Glorfindel set the pen to the paper and waited attentively. And Erestor, seeing that he was waiting, started slowly to read aloud - translating the documents.
A few minutes later, he suddenly stopped reading aloud. "Glorfindel," he said, watching the elf-lord carefully scripting down the passages that he had recently been reading out.
"What is it, my love?"
"Are you sure you are happy to do this for me?"
"Of course. It is the least I could do, considering I am the one who gave you that injury."
"You know that I have forgive you. My hand will quickly heal. But there is only one Yule a year and if you have any place else that you wish to be..." He broke off when Glorfindel kissed him firmly on the cheek.
"Erestor," he said gently. "There is no place that I wish to be except with you, right here, right now. I would that you have no injury and there be no papers to translate for Elrond's in-laws, but these are obstacles that can be overcome and I, personally, would rather that we face such an obstacles together." He smiled at Erestor's softened expression. "And what of you, my love?"
Erestor just leaned his head against him and said, softly, "I love you."
Author's Chapter Notes:
Written for chaotic binky.