The Silver at the Surface of the Water                        back to the Strange Fates
by Elwing

PAIRING: Starting to be Cirdan/Gil-galad; eventuall also Gil-galad/Elrond
ARCHIVE: If you like.
RATING: G (but a *warm* G for G-gs thoughts)
FANDOM/SPOILERS: The Silmarillion
SUMMARY: Gil-galad meets the fosterlings of the Havens and sees Cirdan swimming in the sea.
DISCLAIMER: It all belongs to Professor Tolkien, god bless him.
FEEDBACK: Yes, any and all comments welcome.

On the shores of Middle-Earth, the rain was falling. All along the Bay of Balar and up the curving coast of the Nevrast, soft gray mist filled the inlets and the patter of drops lulled the elves of the Teleri into quiet reverie.

Though they had been last over the Blue Mountains, and too late to be ferried to Valar with their kindred, they had heard Oromë's stories of Manwë, Lord of the Airs and Ulmo, Lord of Waters. It comforted them, alone on the dark shores of the Hither Lands, to think of the rain as the dance of Manwë and Ulmo, the two Valar swirling, caressing, and bringing the soft sound of water from the sky.

It made the weather seem kinder, the wait for Ulmo's return less anxious.

There were times they had felt abandoned by the Valar, and their earlier kindred, the Vanyar and the Noldor. Yet, in their melancholy, Ossë, the vassal of Ulmo and ruler of the coastal seas, had come to them and sang songs upon the waves, a bright, watery music that had pulled the longing from their hearts and given them a reason for living.

Now, taking refuge from the rain in the caves along the coast, they still harkened to Ossë's songs, and were calmed in mind and spirit.

~~~

Some time after this, though when it is hard to say, with only the wheeling stars to judge the time, the Teleri saw a fearful and wondrous sight come out of the Western seas. It seemed to them that a green and great span of earth moved on the waters and came ever closer to their shores, and indeed it was true, for Ulmo had brought the Ferry Island back to Middle Earth, to bring the Teleri to Eldamar, where their kin longed for their company.

Then there was great rejoicing and nearly all the Teleri prepared to cross the sea to the Western Lands, rejoicing that they no longer were abandoned. Families were gathered and organized, last walks on silver strands were taken and every heart was resolved to take its leave of the Hither shore the next day.

Every heart, that is, but one. In the pale starlight, one young Elf wandered along the beach, staring out across the dark water, and feeling a keen sense of loss. He was tall and slim, as all of his kind were, but even among their fair beauty he stood out as one uniquely blessed. His eyes were the color of mist on the dark water and down his back streamed long, silver hair that gleamed under Varda's stars as if it mirrored their light.

Walking down to where the waves broke softly on the shore, he stood in the water, and his heart was heavy.

Under the shore waves, a Power of the sea looked up. The surface of the water looked silver, as it always did from underneath, but now there was silver above the surface as well, and the Power moved toward it eagerly.

/Círdan.../

It was a bright, liquid sound, that voice that spoke his name, and he looked up from the sand with a bittersweet smile.

"Lord Ossë... ah, I didn't feel you there," he said and then knelt in the ankle deep water, putting a hand into it. The soft tug of the Lord of the Coasts pulled at him, almost playfully, yet the voice he heard was plaintive.

/Why do the sea-elves move about with such purpose? Why do they not stop to talk with me or the Lady Uinen? Something is amiss... and my Lord Ulmo has returned from Eldamar./

"Ay, he has indeed returned," Círdan said with a sad smile, "and he brings the Ferry with him, for very soon all my people are departing over your waves and will come to this land no more."

It seemed to Círdan then that water around his hands grew cold, almost as if it were sad and losing it's feeling for the warmth of the living skin it touched.

/No more?/ The sea lord spoke in a watery voice. /No more of my lovely elves? Who then will sing with me when the wind freshens in the morning and my waves rush to shore? Who will share my spirit as I wrestle with the winds of Manwë and crash home again in triumph? For I love the Teleri, as no other creations of Ilúvatar! Tell me, Círdan - do your people no longer love me?/

"Nay, my lord! The Teleri love you and your Lady, and all you have taught us, but..." The beautiful face looking pleading for a moment before falling into sadness. "My kindred wish to see their dear friends, who dwell in Valar, and they heed now the summons of Ulmo. It seems to have been decided that our true home is there, and not along these fair shores..."

Círdan's voice faltered as he spoke and he sat down heavily in the soft-breaking waves. The dark eddies and pools whirled around him as Ossë drew nearer.

/And you," the Maiar said softly, "Círdan, my dearest student? Do you share this view? Will you depart with your kindred and come to me no more?/

"I... I..." In a hell of indecision, Círdan shook his head soundlessly and brought wet hands to his eyes. "I know not what to do my lord," he whispered at great length. "I have no wish to leave these shores, but I also cannot give up the company of those who are kindred to me. I tell you honestly I see no middle path, oh, but would that one were there to take!"

/Círdan... Círdan... give your tears to me, and let me comfort you.../

The soft pull of the waves became a push, the force moving inland now, but subtle and with an ever growing warmth in the water. Círdan felt it wash over his legs and arms, gently pushing him back on to warm, wet sand. With every wave came mercy and relief, grief pulled from him with each retreat of water, sending sadness out to the cleansing sea.

/Círdan... stay with me... for I love you too much to bear your leaving - your people, but especially you, my sea-lover, with your eyes of storm gray and your long, starlit hair.../

Now the water was covering him and Círdan felt his body responding to the fluid touches of the Maiar. As each wave broke softly over him, his breath would catch, his eyes close, body straining upwards to meet the pulse of water, teasing at his nipples, drawing long fingers through his hair, and pushing up now between his legs. Without a thought, they fell open, and the only thought in his head was /Surrender... Surrender it to him.../

It was a long, sweet eternity in Círdan's mind that he lay there, taken again and again by Ossë's warm, insistent waters, taken until he was half delirious with sated desire, the water washing over neck and throat and lips until he pulled his head out of the foam and gave a long, cry of pleasure.

And then he lay stunned and panting on the edge of the water line, staring up at the stars and feeling Ossë's slow, sweet withdrawal, back to the waves and crests he had come from.

Long lay Círdan, there by the water, and then at last he stood and walked to where he people waited to board the Ferry Island.

~~~

From far off, the large gathering of Elves that stood in front of the beach caves saw him coming, Círdan, who awoke at Cuivienen, striding towards them with the light of the sea in his face and all around him a silvery mist, as if star and sea were combined and their light flowed off of him like water.

He approached them and looked slowly from one Elf to the next before saying anything. Then he smiled, a smile warm and calming, that touched every heart.

"My dear Kindred, I would like to argue for staying along these fair shores..."

~~~

Their amazement was great at his words, and long into the night they discussed his reasons, all of which he told, save for the sweet encounter between himself and Ossë. In the end, most of his close kindred were moved by his passion and declined the offer of Ulmo. While others of their Teleri kin passed them sadly and boarded the great Island, Círdan's people stood tall and their pity flowed to those leaving, for they had realized with Círdan's touching arguments that they loved the Hither shore too much to leave it.

So now, as they stood on the shore and watched Ulmo lead the Island Ferry out to sea, they realized that *this* time they had chosen to be the Ones Left Behind and that it suited them to be that way, and for opening their eyes to that, they acknowledged Círdan as their Lord and would have no other.

"He has the great friendship of Lord Ossë," they would say about him, proudly, and the land prospered because of this.

And as Círdan stood alone, watching the Island fade out at the horizon, he felt the sweet hands of Ossë about his feet and ankles and a soft, foamy voice on the waves that comforted him.

/I will be here for you always... Círdan, leader of Elves, an Elven lover to his friend in the sea.../

 

the end - for now ^_~

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