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Chapter 12

                  The 2 never returned to the singing, instead cutting through the Garden of Radiance to his study.  Celebrian’s hands ran over the furnishings as she surveyed the study.

                  “ Have you ever thought of using Ereinion’s old room as a study?” she asked, sitting on the top of a chair.

                  Elrond looked up from his rummaging through a drawer with an odd look.

                  “ No, this room suit me fine.”

                  “ I think it is too small and dark.  You should move into a room where it is more open and airy since you are locked up with these musty old books.  I do not want you to go mad or something of the like,” Celebrian replied.

                  Elrond straightened, looking at her questioningly.

                  “ And why this sudden care in my study and health?” he asked, placing a hand on either since of the chair to trap her.

                  “ Well, this room adjoins yours,” Celebrian began.

                  “ Indeed it does.”

                  “ Elrond,” she half-pouted, half-wailed, pushing on his chest.

                  “ Go on,” he replied with a chuckle.

                  “ Well, if we are to be married, then surely there will be children, am I right?”

                  “ Agreed,” Elrond conceded.

                  “This room would be perfect for a nursery,” Celebrian finished.

                  “ Already it begins and we are not even married yet.  Ereinion warned me that the woman is the one who takes control, though you are gracious enough to let us believe we do,” Elrond sighed.

                  Celebrian’s arms slunk around his neck.

                  “ And he is right, but it is the way you like it.  You do not have to clear it out tomorrow, but someday soon,” Celebrian whispered.

                  “ Aye, I will do as you ask, dineth,” Elrond said.

                  “ I knew you would,” Celebrian leaned her head against his shoulder as he sat on the chair back beside her.

Elrond put his palm flat, revealing 2 silver rings.  Celebrian took one, slipping it up on his finger and then allowing him to do the same.

“ Let the preparations begin.”

~*~

                  Celebrian watched the silver ring glisten in the dim light.  She needed to tell someone, anyone.  Celebrian softly rose, pulling on her outer robe.  She crept down the hallway to Êlenrana’s room.  The girl sat, attempting at a needlepoint.

                  “ How do you do these so well?” Êlenrana threw it down in frustration.

                  “ It takes patience,” Celebrian laughed, settling on the bed across from her.

                  Êlenrana watched Celebrian begin to redo all the wrongs she had done.  A flash of light caught her eye.

                  “ I see someone finally proposed,” Êlenrana said.

                  “ I had to tell someone,” Celebrian put the needlework aside.

Êlenrana smiled, letting the woman go n, though she already knew the end results of the binding.

~*~

                  Elrond stared at the silver ring, sitting on a bench amidst the aeglos.  He fingered it, the weight upon his finger heavy.

* What am I doing?

He ran a hand over his ebony hair.  How he wished Gil-galad were there to council him.  His mentor would have loved this moment.  A voice came to him back when Ereinion had to give them the infamous birds and bee lecture and was answering Elros’ question about how they would know.

* Always trust your heart, nîn ion.  It will never lead you astray.

                  Elrond sighed.  He still wished Gil-galad were there.  The pain that had been so overwhelming months ago had faded to a dull ache that came and went.  He had her to thank for bringing him out of his misery and now he was betrothed to her.  Elrond stood slowly.  He needed to talk to someone, anyone.

~*~

                  Glorfindel was already hunched over whatever the messenger had given him earlier.

                  “ I thought you might come,” Glorfindel tilted his head slightly at the silent footsteps, “ Erestor was looking for you earlier.  He said he found you in the Garden of eternity and thought it best not to intrude.”

                  Elrond took a seat in the chair nearby, patiently waiting for Glorfindel to finish the sentence.  Glorfindel turned from his desk.  His eyes noted the ring almost immediately.

                  “ You took the plunge, eh?” Glorfindel motioned with his head to it.

                  “ Aye and Ereinion had to miss it,” Elrond looked away.

                  “ And he is the one you need to talk to, but I am as good as it gets?” Glorfindel chuckled, before his face fell serious, “ Go on.”

                  “ Am I doing the right thing?  I mean, I know she loves me and al, but she deserves better than a half-elven,” Elrond began.

                  Glorfindel held up a hand to stop the rapid flow of words unaccustomed to Elrond’s usually planed speeches.

                  “ Celebrian has waited millennia’s for you.  She could have easily found another.  She certainly does not lack in beauty.  If she did not wish to be yours, then why did she care enough to come here 3 months ago, while you were still grieving heavily?  She risked a lot, including your love, just to see you.  I do not think you need to worry,” he interrupted.

Elrond sighed, knowing the words were true.

                  “ Thank you, Glorfindel.  Sorry to interrupt your work,” Elrond stood.

                  “ Anytime you need to talk, just find me,” Glorfindel replied.

Elrond clasped Glorfindel’s shoulder in a silent thank you. 

                  He exited Glorfindel’s room just as Celebrian exited the one beside it.

                  “ Seems as if we both had the same idea,” Elrond held out a hand to her.

                  “ I had to tell someone,” Celebrian shrugged, her face slightly aglow.

                  “ Then you are happy?” Elrond asked.

They stopped outside her door.  Celebrian leaned up to give him a gentle kiss.

                  “ More than ever,” she answered.

                  She caught the darkening of his eyes as their gaze rested on her lips.  Celebrian’s hands crept up to his chest, begging him to do so.  He finally complied, with his body, aiming to give her a soft lingering kiss, something they could both dream about, but Celebrian would not let it be.  Erestor rubbed his bleary eyes, walking towards his room.  He smiled, seeing the 2 intertwined, before slipping into his room.  He had no death wish to try and disturb them.

~*~

                  The year passed quickly.  Elrond watched from his place, hands clasped behind his back, the graceful dancing.  His eyes fell on Glorfindel’s empty seat with a groan.

                  “ Come dance with me,” Celebrian pulled his hands from behind his back.

                  “ Kel,” Elrond began.

Celebrian pouted, knowing he could not resist her.  Many Elves around smiled at the playfulness of the maiden.  She would be good for the solemn Elrond. 

                  Elrond sighed, letting her lead him into the center.

                  “ You seem so tense, daer,” Celebrian whispered.

                  “ Can you not say you are not also?” Elrond replied.

                  “ This is our night.  We will have it only once.  Enjoy it and that is an order,” Celebrian said with a smile.

                  “ An order?” Elrond cocked an eyebrow.

                  “ An order.”

The first real smile of the day crossed his face as he chuckled, throwing Celebrian’s spirits up even further.

~*~

                  Elrond suddenly found himself face to face with Celebrian, hands placed together and bound softly with a cloth she had made.  Glorfindel began his sentence, Galadriel following.

                  Ilúvatar, galu am I erthad,” Elrond said softly.

                  Eru, aen manadhpant,” Celebrian’s eyes never wavered from his.

                  A uireb,” they finished together.

                  The cloth was removed and rings given.  The silver ones were to be removed and exchanged among the couple.  Celebrian struggled to get hers off, elicting a soft laugh from those that watched.  She shrugged, extending her hand to Elrond.  Somehow he easily removed it.  Celebrian opened her mouth to ask him how he had done that, when she remembered she was in the middle of her wedding.  The gold rings were fitted upon the right index fingers.

                  “ I want to know how you did that,” Celebrian whispered.

Elrond sent her a humorous look as their lips met. 

                  “ May Eru bless this union all of its days,” Celeborn concluded the ceremony.

                  Elrond looked down at her with a smile.

                  “ How?” she asked.

                  “ Tis a wonder what oil or water can do,” he showed her his oily fingertips, “ There was a plate of butter beside me.”

                  “ Ach, you are strange, Herven,” she rolled her eyes with a smile.

                  “ Not as strange as you, hervess,” Elrond returned her smile.

                  “ I will have to prove you wrong later,” Celebrian arched an eyebrow.

                  “ I cleaned out my study just as you asked,” Elrond replied.

Celebrian burst into giggles as they decended to receive congradulations.  Celeborn smiled sadly at his daughter’s joy.  Galadriel gave his cheek a quick kiss, laying her head on his shoulder.

                  “ Let her go, Herven.”

                  Galadriel and Celeborn were among the last to congradulate them.  Celeborn was obviously not fond of giving his baby away.  Celebrian released Elrond’s hand, throwing her amrs around her father’s neck.

                  “ This is what you wanted, Bree Bree,” Celeborn whispered.

                  “ Do not worry, Ada.  I will return to you with the spring,” she said.

                  “ You take care of her, Peredhel,” Celeborn sent Elrond an order.

                  Elrond gave a short nod.  Celeborn gave his daughter’s cheek a quick kiss before painfully placing her hand back in Elrond’s.  Galadriel led him away.

                  “ I guess I am covering Imladris for the next few days and I am not to disturb you, even if Arda’s end comes or Ereinion suddenly comes to life,” Glorfindel asked with a grin.

                  “ Ereinion would have to wait,” Celebrian replied.

                  “ Glorfindel, you would even if he did not say,” Êlenrana walked up, hearing only Glorfindel’s statement.

                  Glorfindel glanced up at her like a little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar.  Elrond had to smile.  These 2 would follow him and Celebrian soon enough.

                  “ I’m sorry,” he kept his eyes down.

Êlenrana tipped up his chin.

                  “ And you best be,” she said.

Glorfindel chuckled, placing a kiss on the end of her nose.

                  “ Come on, love.  Let us let the couple be.  I’m sure they wish to be rid of our company,” Glorfindel turned her to walk away.

                  “ You 2 do not wish to join us for the feast?” Êlenrana asked innocently.

                  “ Ele,” Glorfindel admonished.

                  “ I have other plans,” Celebrian answered.

                  “ Do you?” Elrond said in mock surprise, “ I thought we would join-”

                  Celebrian pushed him with a smile.

                  “ I rule, remember?” she whispered.

The 2 did not even notice that Glorfindel and Êlenrana had slipped away.  Elrond leaned his head down.

                  “ Not here, Herven,” Celebrian pulled on his hands.

Elrond smiled as he followed her.  He decided he liked the way she said herven.  Celebrian pulled him inside his familiarly furnished room.

                  “ Now you may kiss me.”