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Taking Ship
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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One

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters; I am only borrowing them for fun for a little while. They belong to J.R.R. Tolkien.

Author’s Note: This is movie verse since Círdan did not sail with Elrond to Valinor. Written for the Middle Earth Express Challenge on the AragornAngst Yahoo Group.


~~~

Elrond heard the water lapping against the hull of the grey ship, the cry of gulls overhead, and the sound of the wind filling the sails as Círdan pulled the ship away from the dock. Behind him, towards the front of the ship, the low murmurings coming from the other elves, the hobbits, and one wizard were all reminders that he was not alone. Yet he was. He felt totally and completely alone. He had left behind those most precious to him and he wondered once again if leaving had been the right decision.

Standing at the stern of the ship, Elrond grasped the railing of the ship tightly as he stared fixedly back at the shores of Middle-earth that were quickly becoming indistinct as the sun sank over the horizon behind him. He was so weary. Too long had he battled against the forces of darkness. Too many of those he loved had been lost during the long years of his life; his parents, his brother, his king, his wife, his daughter, and, perhaps, his sons as well. All of them taken from him in some fashion or another, some forever. Although one, at least, he would see shortly. The thought of seeing his wife, Celebrían, again did bring a spark of joy to his heart, but it died down to a low ember at the thought of the loss of his daughter, Arwen. He did not know if he would have the words to explain to Celebrían their daughter’s choice to marry a mortal, even to one as beloved as Estel.

“Elrond?” Círdan’s deep voice broke into his dark thoughts. “Why do you stand here looking back?”

Elrond glanced briefly at the old elf who, along with Gil-galad, had raised him and his brother after their parents had sailed to Valinor to seek the aid of the Valar. Turning his gaze back to the shore he replied in a low voice, “I should have stayed. I should never have left them alone.”

Círdan heard both the weariness and the uncertainty in Elrond’s voice, a state in which he had seldom beheld his long-time friend. “They are not alone, they have each other,” he reminded him, his low voice barely rising above the sound of the sails snapping in the wind above them. “Just as you are not alone, Elrond, though I am sure your heart says otherwise. I know I need not remind you that there are many on this ship that care for you deeply.” Círdan’s wise blue eyes never left Elrond’s profile as he continued speaking softly. “More than anyone, I know of the heart-breaking losses you have endured.” That brought a slight nod from Elrond. “Yet always you have found the strength to go on in spite of your pain, though I know not how.”

“Look at me, Elrond,” Círdan commanded, his voice now clearly heard above the sounds of water, wind, and sails. A voice Elrond well remembered from the days of his youth. The former Lord of Imladris turned his head with a look of weary resignation on his face. “You are going now to the one person who has always been the source of your greatest love and joy and you will not be alone, not with Celebrían alongside of you.”

“Yes, but the children…”

Círdan stopped him with a fierce shake of his head. “Your children are grown and make their own decisions for their lives, just as you and Elros did. Just as you did when you decided to leave Middle-earth and you stepped aboard this ship. Do not look back,” he urged softly.

Elrond shifted his gaze from Círdan back to the darkness where he knew the shores of Middle-earth lay. He took a deep breath and deliberately turned around and leaned back against the railing, glancing at Círdan as he did so. “How long is the voyage?”

“Depends on the wind,” was the vague reply. “Come,” the ancient mariner said, laying his arm around the shoulders of the younger elf and steering him away from the railing and towards the front of the ship, “there is a seat in the bow that has an excellent view facing forward.”

~~~

A/N: I believe there may be different scenarios regarding how and where Elrond and Elros were raised, but I like the one were they were raised by Círdan and Gil-galad.


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