Imladris, 2689 Third Age
The slow flakes swirl around us, thick, and the afternoon is running towards its end. We walk on, side by side, sometimes touching, a brush of the hand, a bump of shoulders. Our different heights make us less than graceful together, but in truth the accidental touches are not quite so accidental. I like these subtleties, and so does he. This way we have of behaving in public as if we were merely acquainted instead of a couple, still sending messages of interest to each other, may not be easy to understand to our friends and kin, but it is far from the coldness that they assume.
I look to the sky. It's thick and heavy and dark, promising heavy snow fall for the night and perhaps the following day too. The elflings of Imladris will be happy, but right now we should head back home instead of lingering in the cold. We stop under a bared oak. It's not the most impressive tree in Imladris nor does it have anything remarkable about it, except that it was where we first kissed, years ago. Of course we never mention such sentimental details, but we both smile.
We turn to face each other, and then we touch with the ease of old lovers. We seem to be unable to pass by this tree without stopping for a kiss. Lindir's lips are cold and his skin chilled, but his hands are strangely warm as they creep up my back underneath the layers of clothing. I love kissing under the falling snow, the way the warmth contrasts with the cold, and the snowflakes melt in our joined lips and tips of exploring tongues. I nuzzle his neck and he pushes me away laughing.
"Keep that cold, wet nose way, you oaf!" he says, laughing before pulling me for another kiss.
"We should be heading home," I say. The Last Homely House looks terribly tiny in the distance, and dark is waiting on us like a starved wolf on the edge of the woods. I don't fear for me, as I am used to things more dangerous than a cold winter night, but rather for him. I can't help but feeling protective, although this many times brings dissention between us. Today, however, he doesn't seem to find my preoccupation offensive.
"Yes, yes, let's go," he promptly agrees.
We return through a different path, a shortcut, but still we arrive after dark fall. Thankfully it's still early for dinner and so we have time for a hot bath. This is another thing I love about winter, the warm water, and the way we manage to squeeze two into a bathtub built for one. His bony body seems to become more malleable in the hot water, but our touching never really crosses the thin boundary between affectionate and passionate.
When we leave the bathroom, chilly air awaits us in the bedroom. I wish that we could slip into be and hold tight until warmth came, and after warmth, fire, but we settle for dressing near the fireplace. As I leave the room he calls softly, "Elrohir..."
I turn back and he kisses me, arms around my neck in a quaint embrace, a feeling of poignancy affecting his actions.
"I wish it could be winter forever," he whispers in my ear.
"Why?" I mumble, confused by this need in him I cannot quite identify.
He frowns at me. "You're here."
He holds on more tightly and so do I. Sometimes I wish for the same. I wish that the roads would be forever obstructed, neither friend nor foe coming back and forth. No one to fight, no one to protect, just a blanket covering us all. But time never stops. Still this is only the second snowfall: there is still time ahead, time for this peace that I find here, home, by his side.
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