Haldir awoke with a start. “Legolas... Legolas, wake up!”
“Nhhh.” Despite his desire to keep sleeping, Legolas blinked his bleary eyes and propped himself up with one arm. “Yes?”
“Erestor is half-Vala.”
“Half ainu, from what I understood the ‘vala’ thing is more of a title than anything else. You can not be half of a Vala,” explained Legolas. “All or nothing, and I believe he is all, yes, good night.”
Haldir shook his husband by the shoulder as the other elf tried to sleep again. “Legolas, Erestor is my father. That makes me part Vala.”
“It makes you part Ainu,” corrected Legolas, burrowing back down into his pillow. “Good night.”
Glaring at Legolas, Haldir turned to the other side and nudged Elodien. “Psst! Elodien!”
“Hmm? What?” Rubbing her eyes to clear them, she sat up in bed. “Something the matter, dear?”
“If Erestor is my father, then that makes me part Vala,” he said, expecting a better reaction to the news from her.
There was a long pause, which Haldir believed to be because she was too stunned for words. That was, until she spoke. “I thought it makes you part Ainu.”
“You are both determined to be against me on this,” he huffed, flipping down the covers. Elodien scrambled to reclaim them and Legolas smacked Haldir’s thigh for having been disturbed again. Haldir opted to pull on a robe instead of search for pants and followed the hallway to the stairs, which led down two flights to the room that Erestor and Glorfindel were in.
Glorfindel was resting in the rocker, his eyes glazed over in reverie. He had the chair pulled up so near to the bed that his lower arm was being held fairly possessively by Erestor. In fact, the dark elf had both arms wrapped around it, his hands gripping the blond’s bicep. Erestor was not sleeping in any manner, however, for he was intently studying the slumbering Elda with his eyes. As soon as Haldir appeared in the doorway, Erestor smiled and beckoned him forth. “Good evening, ion-nin. You have chosen a late hour to visit, but I welcome you all the same,” he said, lifting Glorfindel’s arm back up to rest on the arm of the rocker. In the bed, Erestor was on his right side, covered only by the sheet and the bandages that Haldir could make out the outlines of beneath the thin material.
“Forgive me; my mind is plagued with questions,” whispered Haldir.
Erestor nodded. “I will do my best to give you all of the answers you are searching for.”
“Why did you keep this a secret for so long?” questioned the blond, sitting at the foot of the bed.
“Which one?” Erestor shifted to make himself more comfortable, and hissed when the bedding brushed the bandaged wound.
Giving the ellon’s side a remorseful look, Haldir said, “Either, I guess. For me, they are somewhat connected.”
“I wanted you to have a normal life,” Erestor finally said. “A normal life, with normal parents. I thought I was doing the right thing for you, even if it hurt me and even caused me to become bitter at some times. If I had admitted to being your father, I had to reveal why. I just kept building one secret upon another. The problem with lying is that it is never just one little lie. The lie grows, and more lies are told to cover it up, and soon even you do not know the truth anymore sometimes. You end up hating yourself for it on so many different levels. But you feel as if you have to keep on lying, because you know how things are with everyone believing the lies and you fear what will happen when you tell the truth.”
Slowly, Haldir nodded. “I wish... there might have been a way for me to know sooner.”
“I wish I had known better at the time,” apologized Erestor. “I thought I chose the right path. Alas, even I make mistakes,” he tried to joke.
“I should not have said such harsh things to you,” said Haldir. “I was cruel at a time when you were hurting inside, and I should have reached out to you instead. Instead, I shoved you away.”
“Yes, well, what goes around comes around.” Erestor chuckled very weakly as Haldir gave him an odd, almost hurt look. “Not you, ion-nin. Me.” The attention of the injured elf was turned to Glorfindel, still resting peacefully. “Poor thing. He is going to be so upset when he wakes to learn he was duped into taking sleeping tonic not once, but twice.”
Smirking, Haldir asked, “What do you mean, what goes around comes around?”
“A long, long time ago,” began Erestor, moving Glorfindel’s arm again so that he could cling to it, “there was a very stubborn elf whose heart practically leapt in his chest upon laying his eyes on a most magnificent and gorgeous creature. His head, however, tamed his heart and restrained his soul, pushing aside all romantic thoughts as folly, for it was simply ridiculous for him to even consider the vision he saw.”
“Was... that when you met Glorfindel?” Haldir guessed.
“Aye.” Erestor tightened his hold on his husband’s arm. “My mind conjured a million reasons why not, and I came up with more and more to counter the desire I had. It frightened me, to have feelings like that for another ellon. I spent years telling Glorfindel it was perfectly normal for him to feel as he did while my hidden personal shame consumed me.”
“Out of curiosity... was there anyone other than Glorfindel?” questioned Haldir. “Anyone male, that is.”
“No. And that was how I finally realized that it had nothing to do with gender, but it was I who was making it that way. I was the one who was torturing myself over it. Because I could not make myself accept something so simple and painless,” explained Erestor.
“That you love him,” answered Haldir.
Erestor rested his cheek against Glorfindel’s arm. “And I hurt him, for so many years with my constant rejections and inability to accept him, and accept what we are and why we were brought together and to accept his love and admit my love for him in return.”
Haldir gently lifted the sheet back up to cover Erestor. “I am glad that you were finally able to tell him.”
Clinging to Glorfindel’s arm, Erestor said, “I have accepted him and told him I love him, aye, but he does not know for how long I have loved him. It is the last secret I have.” Deep, dark eyes fell upon Haldir as he said, “This time, I have told you the secret first.”
Not quite knowing why, Haldir smiled. “Thank you.” He leaned forward and carefully gave Erestor a hug. “Rest well.”
“You still have questions for me, though, do you not?” asked Erestor.
“I do, but they can wait until later,” Haldir assured him. “Save for one.”
“Will you tell him?” Haldir looked to Glorfindel, a sleepy, dopey look on his face as he continued to relive memories in reverie.
“I think I will.” Erestor yawned and snuggled against his husband’s arm as Haldir left the room and closed the door. “Someday,” he added quietly, and apprehensively, as he stared up at the golden elf .