The Watchful Peace was at an end. Darkness covered the lands of Arda once again, but for one Elf, being alive and living on Arda once more, even the darkness could not spoil his joy.
The bed was large, soft, and contained all that was needed to make Gil-galad happy 'Elrond. Gil-galad lay upon his side, one hand cupping his head as he watched his lover sleep. The Peredhel’s face was peaceful, the eternal youthfulness of the Elves never as revealed as when Elrond rested beside Gil-galad. That when he awoke and the troubles and responsibilities that the half-Elf carried would again become etched upon his features, made Gil-galad guard and value all the more these peaceful hours they were together.
Life was not such a bad thing, Gil-galad reflected. The wind blew gently through the curtains, dancing upon their skin. He could smell the freshness of the trees and land, and hear Eru's creations greet the day. The birds were chirping and far below, the distant voices of Elves rose in song, as was their wont in fair Imladris. Gil-galad was warm, comfortable, happy... Moments of giddiness, of the need to throw himself upon the sweet grasses and roll about as an Elfling still gripped him, when happiness was at its fullness.
Estel had taken to wandering the wild, fitting to the title of Ranger. Elrond had gotten his way; for now, the lovers waited. But all knew someday Elrond would have to say farewell to his beloved Arwen, it was just a matter of time.
The twins still cleared the paths from Imladris to Mirkwood and Lothlórien. But their hearts were no longer filled with hate. Instead, peacefulness dwelt there, a promise of a future reunion with their naneth 'Celebrían, and perhaps the best of all, acceptance of their union.
Gil-galad had himself just returned from a fortnight of patrolling the borders. The lands bore the brunt of an increase in darkness. The sheer numbers of Orcs bore out the tale, and it was all Glorfindel and Gil-galad could do to keep the lands about Imladris free from their pestilence. Gil-galad had found his place, and his sense of usefulness was fulfilled. All of Elrond’s energy was focused on the coming battle against the shadows. This provided a means for Gil-galad to contribute, through the daily running of Imladris beside Erestor and helping Glorfindel keep their home safe. Gil-galad was happy, more so than he ever dreamed. No longer a king, being a simple Elf fit him now. Standing by his love’s side, shouldering the burdens the half-Elf carried, it was good to be alive...
Gray eyes regained awareness, and Elrond blinked up sleepily into Ereinion’s happy gaze. The twinkling blue depths were filled with all the joys that life had to offer, and they never failed in bringing a smile to Elrond’s face. But as Elrond glanced at the light coming in through the windows, a frown marred his features. As Elrond turned back to Ereinion, he found himself quickly pinned under the larger Elf and kissed quite breathless. Only when the frown had been replaced by a slightly glazed look did Gil-galad pull away.
"No frowns, Elrond." Gil-galad warned. "I do not wish to see that fierce Peredhel expression until we have parted ways this morn." Gil-galad ducked the pillow that was tossed at his head as Elrond existed the bed, laughing.
"Come," Elrond called, disappearing into the bathing room. "The Council waits."
The journey down the halls was made in silence, but their hands were clasped as they were each morning before they parted for the day’s duties. Gil-galad paused at the door leading to where the White Council awaited Elrond’s presence. None, knew this would be the last meeting of such esteemed, wise, forces of Middle-earth. Elrond looked through the open door, dread written heavily on his fair features. He turned back to Ereinion, that smile he could never withhold breaking across his lips. "I will see you later?" he asked, need evident in his tone.
Gil-galad lifted their joined hands to his lips and placed a tender kiss across Elrond’s before releasing it. "You may count on that," he answered.
Gil-galad stayed and watched as Elrond joined the others in discussing Arda’s future, before he turned and went about his duties. He would be there, for his Elrond. That was why he had been sent back, after all...