Fleeting Satisfaction


By Nieriel Raina

Elladan spun, driving his blade into the foul creature approaching his back. The creature shrieked, but did not fall as he withdrew his sword. To his surprise, a blade had also pierced the goblin from the opposite side. A malicious chuckle caused a spark of dark mischief to flare within him, and he laughed, turning back to engage the remaining creatures, only to find all were fallen.

Looking over his shoulder, Elladan watched Elrohir withdraw his sword; a feral grin graced his brother’s face. “You take too much joy in this, brother,” Elladan observed with a casual air.

Elrohir shook his head. “No more so than you. Is it wrong to delight in the defeat of darkness?”

The comment sobered him and he had to pause to consider. “Aye, to delight in death, no matter how foul the creature, is a darkness of itself. There is no true joy in killing, only assurance that these will no longer harm any other.”

Elrohir smirked. “I will concede that I find much more joy in pursuing the ladies of Imladris over killing goblins and orcs; however, I cannot deny I find satisfaction in the latter.”

Glancing around the knoll covered in their fallen foes, Elladan nodded and allowed his lips to quirk upwards. “Aye, that is a better word for it. Satisfaction. Joy will come when the darkness is defeated at its source and Middle-earth is free of such spawn.”

Wiping his blade clean, he sheathed his blade, and moved to start the clean up but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder. He cast a puzzled look into grey eyes so similar to his own.

“But even if Sauron himself is defeated, will the lands truly be free of evil? I fear it is not so. It will take something greater, beyond any Elf or Man to accomplish.”

“Hmm,” Elladan agreed, realizing the truth in his brother’s words. Then looking deep into Elrohir’s eyes, he voiced his thoughts. “I hope you and I live to see such a day, to bear witness to how Ilúvatar accomplishes His plan.”

Elrohir’s gaze dropped, any hint of amusement or even satisfaction replaced by something much deeper, an emotion Elladan decided he did not wish to explore at the moment.

“Come,” he said, squeezing his brother’s shoulder, refusing to speak of that which had long remained unspoken between them. “Let us see this place rid of such foul carcasses and then be off. I think a time of rest at home is in order.”

Elrohir nodded and together they began the tedious task, side by side.

Elladan found himself hoping he would always find his brother nearby, yet he feared that one day he would face separation of such magnitude, only Elrond could fathom. And he prayed it would not be so.


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