Author's Note: Birthday mathom for hermine, who's still not a slash girl (or so she says). Her request:
I'd love to read a Glorfindel centric story with guest appearances of Haldir and Gil-Galad... not strong on any pairing and the mood should be melancholic, but more positive towards the end- how about a discussion between Glorfindel and Elrond on love?
I don't know if this is what you wanted, hon, but I tried. Those elves love fancy language, don't they? And no hobbits anywhere - I'm shocked at myself, simply shocked! 🙂

There was much that Glorfindel had seen in the long years of his life. Many things that had never been seen by another Elf in Middle Earth. But despite everything he still did not know why Mandos had sent him back, except to be companion and help to Elrond, Eärendil's son and master of Imladris, which had become the refuge for many Elves in these last days of the Fourth Age. And how could that be the reason?

The time of the Elves on Middle Earth was drawing to an end, that much Glorfindel knew, and he was more and more looking forward to seeing the Undying Lands again. He was weary of fighting, weary of the way everything seemed to be fading under the Shadow that once again came from Mordor. So many good friends had died in this millenia-long fight against Sauron, like brave and noble Gil-galad, their King, so long the strength of the Elves, only to be smote down by the servant of Morgoth, eternal reminder that they might have banished Melkor but never the seeds of Evil that he had sown.

When they came to tell Elrond about Haldir's death at Helm's Deep, Glorfindel could almost hear his heart break. Now he wished he had gone to Rohan's aid himself. Maybe his presence would have saved Haldir, so courageous and always merry. But Elrond had asked him to stay and help him with the preparations for their departure, and Glorfindel had readily agreed, wanting to see the Grey Havens as soon as possible and hear the call of the Sea.

He knew it was foolish to feel guilt for Haldir's death, but it was still there, gnawing at his heart, causing the weariness he had been feeling for a while grow almost unbearable.

That was how Elrond found him. Glorfindel had tried to avoid him, but after so many years at Elrond's side, he should have known that this would only work for a limited time, until Elrond decided that there had been enough foolishness and confronted him.

Therefore he was only mildly surprised when Elrond appeared next to him, wearing his usual stern expression, under which someone who knew him as well as Glorfindel could easily see warm concern. He expected probing questions and a well-meaning lecture on the importance of their fight and their responsibilities towards the people of Middle Earth, and felt resistance in him, which caused him to be overly cold to Elrond.

Much to his surprise the half-elf simply ignored his rudeness and sat down next to him, one hand warm on Glorfindel's shoulder.

"I know it's hard sometimes, my old friend." There was only understanding and sympathy in his voice, and Glorfindel felt himself relax, almost against his will. "But it will be over soon, and we will be free to set sail to Valinor, to finally see its white shores and set eyes on the Valar and on our kinsmen. Long have I wished for this, Valinor was always a part of my dreams, even before Celebrian left."

There was a longing in Elrond's voice that Glorfindel knew all too well, and he turned to face him, taking his hand in his own. They sat like this for a while, both content to follow their thoughts, separate but following similar paths.

Finally Elrond spoke again: "I don't think I have ever thanked you, Glorfindel, for remaining with me through all of this. I see the pain this has caused you in your eyes, and it makes the gift of your presence even more precious to me. I have to admit that there have been moments, especially of late, when the certainty of you, of your love, is all that helped me go on with my task."

Glorfindel met Elrond's steady gaze and knew that he meant every word. And in that moment he suddenly knew the reason why he had been sent back, and it was the one he had always dismissed: He had been sent back to be companion and help to Elrond. He had been sent back for love.

And that was enough.