Title: A Dolls Skin
Author: Blue Gold
Summary: Erestor was captured, and disfigured by Sauron and his minions, more so than any other elf. Freed after the battle of the last alliance, he chose to live his life out in Imladris. Millennia later the ring returns for a council, and strange things occur in Imladris. Will anyone be able to discover Erestor’s tie to the One Ring before it destroys him? Or will they be distracted by the strange elven beauty that appeared at the same time as the ring.
Disclaimer: I *sniff* do not any of the characters in this story. They are owned by Tolkien/Jackson.
Elrond clutched Gil-Galdad’s spear close as he stood in command. The battle had been won at a high price. So many were lost and it was no where near done yet. Mustering up his courage and pushing back his grief he commanded the men.
“We must see if any of the ones he captured survived. Glorfindel I leave that to you. Isildur! Come with me,” Elrond said leading the king of men to Mt. Doom.
“Come Glorfindel said leading a few of the high Kings elves, a few humans and a few Mirkwood elves. They all had a vested interest in finding some survivors. They entered the dark palace and killed the few skurring orcs.
The screams led them all to where they needed to be. Orcs to foolish to know their master had been defeated mindlessly continued to torment the elves and humans captured in the last weeks and months. They killed the beast and went about the survivors seeing who could be helped.
Sadly they had to kill two of the elves and one human took his own life once freed. Glorfindel took one more look around and saw what he had first mistaken for a pile of rags. Moving closer he saw it was what was left of an elf. Scars and fresh wounds seemed to cover every exposed part of his body. His right arm seemed horribly disfigured and the long black hair was the only true indication he had that it was an elf.
He put a hand on the elf’s shoulder and wasn’t to hear the terrified wail. “Peace, I will not harm you.” Glorfindel said in elvish and he waited as the ears perked up to the language so different from the guttural black speech of the orcs.
Breaking the elf’s chains with his sword Glorfindel carefully cradled him in his arms. “Were there any more?”
“None, the rest were already gone,” a Mirkwood elf said looking at Glorfindel’s bundle.
“Can you speak?”
“Wa…wa…” A voice so weak it was a strain for Glorfindel to hear it as it tried to ask.
“We will get you water, let us get them all out of here,” he said leading the way out. He took the elf to his own tent and when he fetched the water for the first time saw part of his face and gasped.
Without the hair he would have never believed it to be an elf. “What is your name?”
“Lord Glorfindel, we wanted to know if you have learned anything about this elf, many have gone missing recently and everyone would…”
“Erestor, his name is…” Glorfindel stopped as the warrior dropped to his knees. Dragging himself the few steps to Erestor he tried to look at the elf through the curtain of black.
“Erestor love, is that really you? When you never returned from Lindon we feared the worst. Love don’t you remember me?”
“Yes, come let me take you to my tent, oh what did those monsters do to you. He lifted Erestor’s chin in his hand as Glorfindel excused himself. He watched the blond elf leave pushing Erestor’s hair behind his ears with out a glance so used to his loose haired lover. He looked at Erestor and jumped back as if burned.
“Your face, Valar you are hideous!” He exclaimed before vomiting. “I…I can’t…” he whispered staggering out of the tent and back to the Mirkwood camp. As far as he was concerned Erestor was dead. That thing, was not his beautiful lover.
Erestor shook on the mat he had been placed on. The only thing that had kept him alive all those months were thoughts of seeing his lover again. Was he truly that hideous, he remembered the knives, the branding, the things rubbed into open wounds until he did not remember what it was not to feel pain but elves healed, did they not?
Looking around he crawled weakly towards Glorfindel’s shield. He took one look in the shield and his body shook with his sobs. He could not blame, Meltin. He was disfigured, an orc would be more beautiful then the thing he was now.
Taking a large strip of the scant cloth that had survived with him he wrapped it about his face. No one would have to see the monster he had become ever again.
Erestor woke with the sun. Making his way into his private bath, he added the herbs to the water though he had long since given up the thought of them actually working. So much so he no longer had mirrors in his room.
Elrond had tried; he had been successful in returning the use of his right arm to him but nothing else. The scars would never be gone and he would never show another elf or any other creature his face, or any part of his body for that matter.
Finished with his bath he went into his room to dress. No matter the weather or the event Erestor dressed the same. Pulling on black leggings and boots he opened his closet and took out a black robe with small silver vines embroidered into it.
All his robes were high collared and he pulled his hair out of the robe to fall about him like ink. Walking over to his dresser, he opened a cabinet where a mirror would be and looked at the masks. All porcelain designed for him. With a special catch so he could wear them and eat and speak without being muffled. Taking one with the same silver accents as his robe he put it on carefully adjusting the straps. After moving his jaw a few times he was sure the mask was properly positioned.
With his mask in place he took out a pair of elbow length soft black silk gloves. Pulling those on he had no fear of exposing any part of his damaged skin. Self-consciously smoothing out the flawless robes he made his way to breakfast.
Elrond and Arwen were already seated at the main table and Erestor slid in beside them. None had much of an appetite though all worried about the blond who usually livened up meals out facing Nazgul. Breakfast was a silent affair with thoughts running from Glorfindel to the twins who were on yet another orc hunt.
Elrond was the first to leave the table followed shortly thereafter by Erestor. Walking to his lord’s office he wondered if the rest of the day would be like breakfast. He entered the office and was quickly assaulted. The door slammed and locked behind him as hands shoved him against the door and shoved his mask aside. Snapping the chin attachment, the porcelain piece fell to the floor and shattered as Erestor’s lips were claimed in a demanding kiss.
“Elrond!” Erestor yelled when he got a moment to breathe, the half elf stepped back at the tone, “that is the third mask this month.”
Elrond shrugged sheepishly. Adjusting the broken mask on Erestor’s face. “Your chin is perfect any way.”
“And Ellcaron wants to know what I have been doing to destroy these masks, he even threatened to make them of leather from now on.”
“Fine, I promise to be more careful with your masks if you promise to share my bed tonight.”
“That is an easy enough promise to keep as I do that every night,” Erestor said with a smile and Elrond marveled at how beautiful the smile hidden from everyone but him was.
“And stay the night.”
“I do not know why you wish us to remain secret but creeping out of my bed in the dead of night is getting old Erestor. Just once I would like to wake with my arms around you instead of a cold spot on my bed.”
“I really don’t think…”
“Why not? Give me one good reason? If nothing else it would stop the children from trying to match me up with Glorfindel.”
“So you have noticed that as well?”
“I would have to blind not to note it, at least Glorfindel takes it well and keeps our confidence. He knows and he is happy for us why do you fear telling my family and let all of Imladris know of my joy?”
“I just do not want to, please Elrond do not ask this of me.”
“Alright, but I still want you in my bed the entire night!”
“I can do that for you,” Erestor said quietly, “now I have to go change this.” Erestor stepped out into the hall and nearly walked into Glorfindel who was rushing to the office. The meaning behind this escaping Erestor as he was highly distracted about the promise he had just made.
“I’m sorry,” Erestor said keeping his head down. Glorfindel tilted Erestor’s head to look at him and shook his head with a smile.
“He did it again.”
“Yes, I do not understand his need to accost me after breakfast every morning.”
“Well you know these half elves are a strange lot,” Glorfindel said not willing to admit there was something so erotic about the way Erestor ate, that he could bring a blush to the most decadent elf. Many had noticed it and he was sure it was the reason for the rumors that had been circulating about Erestor the last few centuries.
Rumors that his beauty was so unparallel even amongst elves that is was kept hidden to keep elves from falling at his feet. Glorfindel so wished those rumors were true but he had seen Erestor’s face and as much as it shamed him to admit he would not be able to love some one like that without pity.
And Erestor was, a wonderful open elf, maybe more so because he showed nothing of his face that he had to work doubly hard to show his emotions. He did not need pity, and Glorfindel was glad he had found an elf that loved him for who he was, no pity involved.
“Glorfindel?” Erestor asked concerned when the elf did not respond to his question.
“I’m sorry, my mind wandered, what did you say?”
“Was everything alright? I just realized you have returned from…”
“Valar! Elrond! Quickly the little hobbit has been stabbed by a Ringwraith!” A flurry of blue and silver followed the exclamation and the two elves ran down to the healing house.
Erestor thought a moment about following but just decided to head back to his room and change his mask shaking his head at his lover. He hoped the Hobbit would be well and went ahead to prepare rooms for him.
He recalled he was to be traveling with Estel and also made sure his rooms were clean and ready for him. Deciding he needed to go to the healing halls he nearly walked into a gray robed form headed the same way.
“I’m sorry Mithrandir I did not see you,” Erestor said quietly.
“Maybe if you removed that silly contraption you would see more,” the wizard said good naturedly but Erestor understood.
“Right after you stop hiding behind this farce of an old mortal.”
“If I believed you would do it I would, right now.”
“Well then we are agreed. I will keep my mask and you will keep your beard. Do you know of anyone else I should be expecting I do not truly wish to disturb Elrond and Glorfindel with this while he is trying to heal this hobbit.
“Always practical Erestor. Three more hobbits. And prepare missives to be sent out for representatives from all realms. There will be much to discuss in the coming weeks. Erestor nodded and turned off deciding maybe visiting the cooks would be wise at this point.
Gandalf on the other hand continued into the healing halls and found Elrond binding Frodo’s small form with clean bandages as Glorfindel packed things away. The hobbit drifted in and out of dreams mumbling slightly feverish.
“He will recover, though he will always carry the scar and may feel pain all his life. It’s a wonder he survived at all. I would like him to stay here one night then he can be moved to proper chambers to rest when I am sure he is free from all danger.”
“Estel and the rest of the hobbits should arrive in another three days time,” Glorfindel said calmly as he wiped his hands clean of the herbs Elrond had been using.
“Glorfindel you should get some rest. I know you must have traveled without stopping to get Frodo here safely but even balrog slayers need sleep.”
“I suppose he is in good hands. I will see you at dinner,” Glorfindel said with a light pat to Erestor’s shoulders.
“If you even look in the direction of the barracks I will lock you in my room.”
“Fine Sleep it is, all I will do just sleep,” Glorfindel said turning towards his room knowing Erestor’s sharp gaze was on him.