Characters: Estel, Haldir
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s world and words, Kortirion just paddles in the shallows.
Estel rubbed absently at the indigo swirl behind his hip as he emerged from the steaming wooden tub. The inked tower stood out against his now rosy, and blissfully clean, skin. Haldir eyed the recent tattoo with some disapproval – it was not a practise the Firstborn generally favoured... but... when the shipwright offered, Estel had accepted with barely a second thought. Haldir closed his eyes, savouring the bath.
They’d crossed the Baranduin near the coast; the reclusive ferryman spoke of a grey trading ship from Lune moored downstream. Passage north was negotiated... now they travelled swiftly – and among their kin.
Indigo skies arced above dark waters. The elvish ship cleaved billowing waves, scintillating with glints of brightness from the ship’s lanterns. Estel had initially demurred, mindful of his last voyage, but this ship was very different from the dirty scow that dumped him in Belfalas.
Bathed, dressed, he leant against the taffrail watching their wake disappear into the night. Haldir joined him; he noticed the ranger still wore his blue scarf, now tattered, fading... and realised Estel’s eagerness for inked skin was to preserve inviolate, private memories.
“You will meet again,” Haldir murmured.
Estel’s face was shadowed.
“Perhaps. In time...”