"It won't stop," Elrohir says one day, surrounded by a band of dead Orcs. "Why it won't stop?"
Elladan looks at his brother. In his eyes burns the need to move, to slice throats open with his sword, but there's no Orc left he could use to vent his anger. Taking a deep breath, Elladan shoves the anger down. He struggles. His hate for these creatures is so strong that it clouds his judgement, stains his soul. He knows that. He's aware of the temper he developed in the last decades. He's hurting people with his rash actions, his violent grief and his new grown habit to push those away he loves. But the knowledge doesn't make it easier, not at all.
The only reason, why he's still capable of hanging onto his sanity, is his brother. Elrohir is his brother, his twin and Elladan can see his own madness thrown back at him.
This at least hasn't been corrupted yet. Their connection still holds true. Elladan hopes it will last, will survive the path of vengeance they've chosen.
We'll drown, clinging to each other, Elladan thinks. He should be afraid, but just like Elrohir he only feels exhaustion. Of course it won't last. The burning anger, the desire to move and free the world of the evil crawling over it, will be back soon enough.
Perhaps not tomorrow, or next week. Sometimes the ire sleeps for months, until an insignificant word, a thought or a memory will wake it up again.
"Do you think we have a choice?" Elladan asks his brother and swipes his sword clean. He points at the Orcs laying dead around them. "Is this truly our own doing? Sometimes it just doesn't feel like it."
Before their mother sailed they wouldn't have been capable of taking down fifty Orcs. Not alone and not so easily. As much as Elladan hates these creatures, he's aware that they stand no chance against him. They're slow, untrained and heavy. When he dances through their ranks, he mows them down like rodents. One strike can kill up to three Orcs at once. As much as they deserve it, Elladan feels like a murderer.
He gets, why his brother feels so exhausted, tired and full of doubts.
"There's always a choice." Someone with a deep, clear voice interrupts the twins in their clean up. "Though you're right to doubt your control over the bloodlust you're harbouring."
Elladan and Elrohir swirl around in a perfect union, while their swords are drawn and in position after a single heartbeat. Instinct brings them as close to each other as possible. They never move far from their twins side, especially after a battle. But after a few tense moments Elladan realizes their worry is unfounded, their reaction almost ridiculous.
"Grandfather," Elladan breathes in wonder as he spots the hooded figure at the other end of the clearing. He lowers his sword and an open, truly beautiful smile crosses his features. For the first time in months the monster in his head goes silent. "What are you doing here?"
Maglor grins as he heads towards them with the grace of a predator, who has won uncountable challenges. Both twins are frozen on their spot, almost afraid that their beloved grandfather is just an illusion and will vanish in midair if they make a wrong move. Hence why they barely react, when Maglor puts a hand on each of their cheeks.
"My beautiful boys," Maglor whispers softly. His voice carries power, a promise of danger of anyone who comes to close. But Elladan and Elrohir don't care. Instead they fall into Maglor's arms like frightened children. "I'm here to help you, what else could I want in such a dreadful place?"
"We're trying so hard, haru," Elladan whimpers into the crook of Maglor's neck. He can feel the anger, the hate and haze that takes hold of him so often subside. For a moment the beast stops trying to claw its way out, as if it knows that the Fëanorian is an opponent it can't overthrow. "But we feel so lost. Nothing we do works."
"Is that the reason, why your father hasn't seen you a handful times in the last five years?" Maglor asks, but without any judgement.
Elladan is glad his grandfather is here. Maglor will know what do to. Who cares if was Elrond, who send out a message to his father, because he doesn't know what to do anymore? Maglor is an ancient creature, a force that has weathered many ages. Fought battles beyond Elladan's imagination. If there's one, who can help to silence the angry voice in his head than it's the Fëanorian.
"We didn't want to hurt anyone," Elrohir mumbles his explanation. He too, is still clinging to Maglor, unable to let go. "Not after..."
Elrohir is unable to finish the sentence, but Elladan knows what his twin is thinking about. It's the day, Elrohir attacked Glorfindel, when the Lord tried to prevent them from leaving. As far as Elladan knows, all Glorfindel got from the encounter was a black eye and two broken ribs. But it was enough to make clear how badly their control was slipping.
In fear next time they might use a sword, instead if a fist, Elladan and Elrohir packed up and left Imladris behind.
"It's alright. I know what that feels like to be so lost," Maglor says and strokes their hair, caring little about the scenery. He'll let his grandsons hold onto him as long as they need. "I send Elros and your father to Gil-galad out of the same reason. As much as it hurt to be separated from them, I couldn't bear the thought that they could come to harm by my own hand."
"But we never swore an oath," Elladan says and takes a step back. He needs to look his grandfather in the eyes for this. "We've heard the stories from father. We'd never do that to you."
Elrohir nods in agreement, but Maglor only sighs and lets his gaze travel over the dead bodies around them.
"It's not your fault, but you inherited a fraction of it," Maglor explains. "Your father and your uncle were very young, when their mother made her choice. Elven children can't survive on their own at that age. Their minds are fragile, the blood of men that flows inside them is the sole reason,why Elwing didn't give birth the stillborns. But neither Nelyo nor I could leave them behind, so we named them, feed them and cared for them."
"You loved them," Elrohir finishes the sentences, because Elrond never made a secret out of true parentage. "You loved them like your own flesh and blood."
Maglor smiles weakly, with a hint of regret as he puts and arms around each of his grandsons to draw them away from the battlefield.
"Exactly," he says. "We loved them so much that Elrond has more from my father than from Thingol. Melian's powers prevailed, thanks to her status as a maia, but not much else and Eärendil didn't stick around long enough to built a connection with the children he sired."
Something dark and possessive gleams in Maglor's eyes, when he looks at his grandsons. Elladan finds it comforting, rather than frightening. What should he fear from the Oath of Fëanor, when he has Maglor at his side?
"Now you're mine. You, your father and your sister even," Maglor hums with satisfaction in his voice. As if he's feeling gleeful of having claimed something so precious, which should've belonged another.
"Will you help us?" Elrohir asks. Elladan can feel the black desperation in his brother's chest like his own.
But there's hope as well. They might not return to the light, not ever. But they can learn how to live if this. Learn how to swim, instead of drowning in blood and madness.
"Of course, indyo," Maglor says and kisses both his grandchildren on the top of their heads. "I'll stay, I promise you this. There's no rush. We can spend the next years and decades in each other's company, while I teach you everything I know."
Came the words from anybody else, Elladan would scoff. But his grandfather knows, what he's talking about. He lived through worse. Through darkness, loss, blood and madness. If he can believe in a tomorrow, than Elladan all has to do but follow him.
Hours later he and Elrohir have fallen asleep with their heads in their grandfather's lap, while Maglor sings. Elladan is so relieved to be no longer alone that he could cry. If there are tears running down his cheeks, than he doesn't notice them, because Maglor swipes them all away.