B2MeM Challenge: n43 Canon Couples: Manwë/Varda; i22 Canon Couples: Celeborn/Galadriel
Format: Drabble series
Characters: Galadriel/Celeborn, Arwen
Pairings: Galadriel/Celeborn, Manwë/Varda, Thingol/Melian, Arwen/Elessar
Summary: Some choices are just hard to make. Some are made for you, and yet some you would make, again.
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds...
But bears it out even to the edge of doom..." (Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare)
"In happy days and times of peace it was held ungracious and contemptuous of kin to forgo the ceremonies, but it was at all times lawful for any of the Eldar, both being unwed, to marry thus of free consent one to another without ceremony or witness (save blessings exchanged and the naming of the Name); and the union thus joined was alike indissoluble. In days of old, in times of trouble, in flight and exile and wandering, such marriages were often made." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar, Morgoth's Ring, Tolkien)
"You must cease this grieving, Celeborn," Galadriel urges, sternly, angered at her inexplicable need to touch him. "He is gone."
"Well..." She plucks a grass blade, begins to roll it against her thigh. "Well, she will return to Valinor, thanks to the Shipwright--"
"No," he interrupts, snatches her grass away. "What will become of her?"
"You know, Celeborn," she snaps, "Why make me say it?"
But he grabs her chin, making her meet his eyes, and she is afraid of the despair she sees there.
"They are still one, Galadriel, and she'll bleed from the cut."
Every youth in Valinor knows of the mystical union between the lord Súlimo and the lady Elentári who, having first found each other in the great music and feeling true bliss there, became as halves that could not be content until made whole again. Together. The One himself forged their bond, making it unbreakable.
"She might find healing, in Valinor," her words come out, empty.
"What happens when you unbind the strands in a coil of rope, or shatter glass?" he asks, intent, and answers without waiting, "The pieces are still rope, still glass, but they are good for nothing."
For days they avoid each other, though she does not realize that is what they are doing until they meet again and he never touches her. Only when she hears herself berate him does she understand how much she needs him.
"Coward," she calls-- nay, hisses-- and watches, in shock, as he turns his head away.
"Can you think of a worse fate, Galadriel--" he asks in a tight voice, impatient, annoyed, "worse than wasting from grief, unable to stop yourself?"
"No," he says, seeks her eyes, "especially you. Surrender? I'd never do that to you."
"Or to yourself."
Facing death makes priority of solving regrets; so, scarcely away from fire and ruin, Celeborn pulls her in for a deep kiss.
"All I could think," he mumbles when they gasp for air, "is that I would die without having
She claims him again.
"I tried to forget," he says, raw, harsh, when they part, "but I ached for you."
"I've stopped running! What of you, Celeborn?"
"I want you for as long as I can have you, death be cursed. Do you know what to say?"
A curt nod. "I, Galadriel, invoke Eru's blessing over our bond..."
Silver already lines Elessar's temples when Undómiel asks him, "Was it worth it? All this pain, this... this rawness... was it worth it?"
Celeborn feels for his heart, each beat a slow, painful, pitiful dragging of age and misery that chokes him every moment of the day.
Why bother? The girl beside him was one reason. The other, though difficult to articulate, was that her life, her sacrifices would have availed nothing if he gave up watch now.
Life without Galadriel was pointless. But, there had been life.
He kisses Arwen's brow, and leaves.