Summer had come early this year and warm winds danced between the trees. The wind brought with it pleasant smells of fire thyme, barbed fern and regal wild rose. It was smells that always meant summer had arrived. The sun had reached zenit and its golden rays searched their way through the thick canopy of Gan Inansari, bathing the grass covered ground in a warm light. Nidhir leaned against a tree, his arms crossed casually across his chest as he turned his face towards the sun. The warmth was pleasant and he sighed contendedly. It was days like this that he had no qualms about guarding the border. Even though he still wondered why they did. Humans hadn’t been seen anywhere near the elven realms for several millenia.
Familiar footfalls caused his ears to twitch. He pictured the person approaching; black hair, braided. Warm brown eyes, gentle and caring. Lips that was always graced by a smile. As an arm snaked its way around his waist he gave up a light chuckle, but he kept his eyes closed until he could feel a warm breath tickle his ear.
He turned his head towards the person, “Mae ar’inan. Aren’t you a long way from home.”
Faeranduil chuckled quietly and leaned against the tree as well, allowing Nidhir to appreciate his handsome profile. “Tel’en mir.” The words were spoken slowly, almost as if he savored them, “And haven’t I sworn to be by your side?”
Nidhir bit back another chuckle. Leave it to Faeranduil to sound so overly chivalrous, as if this was the most normal thing to do. He turned back to study the tree line that seperated Gan Inansari from the rest of Eibrea, sighing slowy. “Does my father know?” he wondered, suspecting he already knew the answer.
“That you left the inan without a word?”
“I take that as a yes.” he mumbled and lowered his gaze to the ground, absent-mindedly kicking at a tuft of grass. “I also take it that’s why you’re really here?”
Faeranduil straightened and turned fully towards him. His usual smile was gone and he looked at him with a surprising gentleness, “I swore to protect you.” It was a statement that held all his emotions and unspoken questions, and he sighed deeply. “I swore to lay down my life for you. How am I supposed to do that when I don’t know where you are?”
Nidhir’s gaze snapped up at him and he frowned. “I have never asked you to lay down your life for me.”
“But your father has.” There was pain in Faeranduil’s voice when he spoke and Nidhir instinctively reached out and pulled him into a tight hug. Creators, he hated this. Why couldn’t he just be someone else?
The approaching sound of running footsteps caused them to break apart, both turning towards the sound. Out from the thicket appeared a ranger, desperation and terror evident in his fair features. Quickly glancing over his shoulder caused him to quicken his steps further and he waved frantically when he saw them.
“RIN’INAN!” he called and seemed to motion for them to run, “Rin’inan, harel!”
Barely had Nidhir and Faeranduil comprehended the meaning of his warning until they heard the swishing sound of an arrow flying. Suddenly the ranger staggered and fell to the ground with a thud, an arrow protuding from his back. The two elves looked at each other and before Faeranduil even opened his mouth, Nidhir knew exactly what he was going to say. It was written in his features.
“Harel!” he demanded as he pushed Nidhir behind him and drew his sword as several human soldiers became visible, but Nidhir didn’t move.
“I won’t leave you!” he stated as he grabbed hold of Faeranduil’s arm, “Please, navae, come with me!”
Faeranduil looked at him and the sadness he saw in his eyes caused his breath to hitch. It was written there, for everyone to see. “I made an oath.” he breathed and fought his tears, “Don’t make a liar out of me.” He then released himself from Nidhir’s grip and gently but determinedly pushed him further away. “Go! Go and live for the both of us.” Then he turned around and with firm steps walked towards the opposition, his sword raised.
Nidhir watched as Faeranduil bravely tried to defend their home, but just as he had promised did he lay down his life for him. Nidhir turned around and ran away before he could witness how his beloved was run through and left as a feast for the crows.