All that we were...
All that we were….
A burning flame leaves ashes and dust
But a burning heart on the other hand
Leaves naught but the memory of bliss
For its flame is cursed to burn out…
All that we were, it is forever gone… He didn’t speak the words out loud, for there was nobody there to hear them. The despair in his heart was simply too great, he could not express it in any way. The heat against his face made his eyes run, he let his tears flow freely, tried to look as if he wasn’t affected but he was. His soul in turmoil, the longing so strong, so burning and almost violent. He wanted to shout it out, to roar, to rage against fate itself. But he didn’t, he just stood there, stared down at the inlet where the beautiful white ships burned, where his father, his own father, had sundered him from his true love in a most cruel and definite way, maybe intentionally, maybe not. There was no way back, no way back at all and he wanted to fall to his knees and scream his true love’s name, beg the valar for mercy, for forgiveness but he knew that no mercy would be given. Their sins too great.
He didn’t do anything, for he knew deep within that maybe, just maybe his own actions had been a part of everything that had lead up to this moment. He had done things that had made a volatile situation even more dangerous, had turned his father’s already paranoid mind away from his kin even more than before. It had sundered them all, and that was a bitter truth, one he had to accept. And yet, even now in the midst of turmoil and violence and regret he couldn’t regret that he had done what he had, felt what he had. It had been written in the stars from the very first day they had met, and it had been wonderful and sweet and yet so bitter. Now it was all he had, the memories of days and nights filled with youthful hope and optimism. He stared at the sea, across the dark expanse of cold water and knew that he was there, on the other shore. They had to see the flames, to see the light. They had to know they were betrayed; he had to know there was no way across the waters now. He had to know he was alone and Maedhros heart almost broke at the thought. He saw that the others gathered, prepared to leave for the inland. He had to follow them and he threw one last glance, filled with agony, back towards the land they had left behind. Forgive me my love, his inner voice but a whisper. Forgive me Fingon, I didn’t know he would burn the ships, I swear I did not. He turned his back to the beautiful red dancing flames and his head hung low. All that they were had burned down and all that was left was the ashes of their love.
It had been an afternoon, and it had been one of those lazy beautiful days when the heat made the air shimmer and the wind had brought with it the sweet scent of flowers in bloom. He had visited Tirion and felt as if he couldn’t get far enough away from the city with its noise and political games. He was good at dancing through the intricate maze that was the court of the high king, after all, he was a prince of the house of Finwë and he was expected to excel in everything. Oh he had learned how to behave, to charm and impress his way through the crowds of gathered nobles. He was as eloquent as his father but gentler, more likeable and many admired him. It was like playing a game, being a part of a theatrical show, it was a role he was playing and it wasn’t him, not really. When he chatted effortlessly with some noble noldo or flirted very innocently with some high born nis he was wearing a mask, it was all a fraud.
But it was a game he had to play, had to partake in for the sake of his father and their family. Nothing could ruin the image of the perfect family and he had to be the perfect young prince, a promising heir to the throne. Sometimes he did enjoy playing the part, most of the time he loathed it. But his father wanted him to be their representative at court and he obeyed, his father was perhaps the crown prince but he was way too busy with his inventions to care about the game of chasing power and influence. He did also resent his father’s wife and children and Maedhros had never been able to understand this, not fully. He knew Fëanor had loved his mother dearly and that he saw his father’s new marriage as a betrayal but why should that cause problems for the rest of the family?
Fëanor probably didn’t like that he was seeing his cousin that often, and he did absolutely not like the fact that they had become such close friends. If he had known the truth both believed that he most likely would have forbidden Maedhros from ever seeing his cousin again and so they had kept it as a secret for years. Oh his brothers knew, but they did understand and hadn’t betrayed them. His mother hadn’t said anything but he knew that she too knew, she just chose to ignore it. The vanyar and the most pious of the noldor would most definitely deem it a sin, as something shameful or wicked or downright unnatural. The valar too, if the rules and law were the truth, but they didn’t care. They had heard the stories, of others being exposed as deviants as the society labeled them, of elves forced into exile, forced to leave their families behind and live in servitude to some vala. They chose to ignore it.
He had ridden hard out of the city gates, there was a feeling of haste within his soul and he left the road and turned his horse towards a small lake that lay protected behind some rolling hills. It had become their place, their sanctum, their own little lovers nest. He had rushed down to the waters, couldn’t get rid of the feeling of boredom and stiff unnatural conversations soon enough. This was where he belonged, where he felt free and happy and like himself. Nobody knew he was there; he wasn’t scheduled to return home for yet another couple of days.
Fingon was waiting for him by a tall beech by the water’s edge, he had dismounted and his horse was grazing peacefully. The warm light of Laurelin was making his dark hair look like glowing silk and he was so beautiful, so mouthwatering handsome. Maedhros was down from his horse, embracing his cousin within the blink of an eye. The familiar scent and the feeling of his strong arms wrapped around him made him relax, finally he was at peace. Here the buzz and stress of court life didn’t matter, it was all worth it, and he could do it again and again just to be there, in the arms of Fingon.
“You are late” Fingon’s voice was soft and Maedhros just closed his eyes, raveled in the sensation of the tight embrace. He nodded and pulled his cousin down onto the grass with him, they sat there, next to each other and Maedhros just couldn’t get enough of the sight of his lover, he was everything he could ever have wanted.
“I am sorry; there was so much I needed to do before I could leave. That grandfather hasn’t gone mad from all the empty headed gossip is beyond my comprehension.”
Fingon just sniggered and snuggled against his neck, like a playful kitten and Maedhros felt his heart swell within his chest. He loved Fingon so dearly and it had taken him a lot of thinking and soul searching to accept that yes, it was love and yes, it was real and not just some crush.
Fingon chuckled. “They were all over you as always?”
Maedhros nodded, he pulled some loose locks of hair out of his face and sighed. “That is one excellent way of saying it yes. They are getting worse all the time; I am starting to feel like a deer with a pack of wolves at my heels.”
Fingon cocked his head. «You are the most eligible bachelor in all of Tirion, they all want you. Being the one to tie the knot with you has to be the ultimate goal of almost every unmarried nis within the court.”
Maedhros bit his lower lip. «I know, it is frightening. I wish I could tell them all to back off, that my heart already is taken.”
Fingon took a deep breath. “Me too, but we cannot now can we. It would …it would ruin everything!”
The tall redhead leaned his head onto Fingon’s shoulder, his eyes distant. “You are right; it would be a scandal of epic proportions. Grandfather would probably end up in serious trouble, the valar could dethrone him. And atya would lose everything, heck we could all lose everything!”
Fingon closed his eyes, embraced Maedhros and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. «It is the vanyar; they are the true problem I think. The valar doesn’t really care that much about these things. I have sort of understood how those pious fools think, they try to be so perfect they’re no longer natural.”
Maedhros had to grin, Fingon was right of course, the Vanyar had a lot of power and they were closer to the Valar, trying to become like them in many ways. And so they constructed rules and regulations all the time, trying to appease the deities whom they worshiped, but he hardly thought that it had any effect, except from turning their society so rigid and desperately normal something had to give sooner or later.
Fingon let his fingers run through Maedhros hair, his eyes soft. “Before the great journey the quendi didn’t care who they loved, as long as it was love. They didn’t think that the form of the hroa should determine what the fëa was feeling”
Maedhros nodded “Yes, and then they came here and became a bunch of spit lickers, too desperately eager to be liked by the valar to care about the past.”
Fingon snorted. “Oh Eru, don’t let anyone hear you call them that, but you are right. They spend their time with their noses pressed against the floor in prayer; I wonder when the most pious ones will develop a pig’s snout”
Maedhros immediately got a very unwelcome mental image lodged within his head, of the queen of the noldor wandering around with a nose like a pig and he burst into laughter. Fingon watched him with sparkling eyes. “Oh how wonderful it is to hear you laugh again, it is wonderful.”
Maedhros had to wipe some tears out of his eyes. «It felt great too; I have worn that stiff artificial grin for so long it feels as though my face never will be normal again.”
Fingon grinned and leaned forth, kissed him on the lips, very gently but with the promise of so much more. “Well, we cannot have that; your handsome face ought to be set free.”
Maedhros answered the kiss with hunger, he grasped onto Fingon’s chin with one hand and the other he placed around his neck, pulling him closer. “I have missed you, Eru how I have missed you!”
His voice breathless and raspy and Fingon pulled his tunic down off his shoulders, warm calloused hands were caressing his skin and then Fingon made a sudden move and pinched one of his nipples. The mixed pain and pleasure made Maedhros flinch and hiss and Fingon grinned into the kiss and deepened it. “I have missed you too you know. I cannot count the number of times I have had to put a hand to myself to relieve my longing”
Maedhros moaned, the idea of watching Fingon pleasuring himself was almost too much, he was already hard and his pants felt uncomfortable indeed. He cursed the court protocol which dictated even the dress code, wide huge robes but rather tight trousers underneath. It always made him feel as though he was wearing a tent. “Me too, oh Eru!”
Fingon had made use of the opportunity and a hand had brushed ever so gently over the hard bulge in Maedhros pants, he bucked against the touch, his heart hammering and the desire he felt was burning. “I doubt you not, and I can see that you indeed are very happy to see me again. Now, let us free you from that terrible tight fabric.”
Fingon moved a little, undid his belt and Maedhros got rid of the tunic and the undershirt, he was trembling with anticipation and need and knew that this would be a rather swift fuck, he was on the point of boiling over from pent up desire. He sighed with relief the moment his lover slid the pants down his legs, it felt wonderful to be out of them and Fingon whistled a little, grinning widely. “If the nisi of the court knew what you are hiding in your breeches they would be even more eager than before.”
He had to laugh, and then the laugher turned into a gasp as Fingon didn’t hesitate but leaned down and licked his cock with one long movement from the base towards the head, a devious expression on his face. Maedhros groaned and let himself fall back onto the grass. “F…Fin…I…”
Fingon pulled off his own tunic and pants, he was grasping onto Maedhros hips and his grin wicked. “I know, don’t try to resist now. Let me help you relax.”
Maedhros just whimpered as soft warm lips caressed him in a most sensual way, Fingon knew how to do this, and he knew every trick in the book and then some. And he knew Maedhros and how he reacted to this sort of touch, he knew which buttons to press and which ones to just tease and it didn’t last long before Fingon’s effort paid off, Maedhros arched and yelled and writhed as he came hard, shooting hot seed down his lovers throat. Fingon licked him clean after swallowing every last drop; he smiled and lay down next to the tall redhead. “So, do you feel better now?”
Maedhros could only smile in absolute bliss, he still felt that wonderful hazy post orgasmic feeling and he didn’t even bother opening his eyes. “Yes, I feel like I am alive once more.”
Fingon let a hand slide across his sweaty skin, blue eyes glittering with mirth. «Fabulous, that was what I wanted. I bet some of those pious vanyarin ner would have benefitted greatly from having their cocks sucked once in a while. They look horribly frustrated.”
Maedhros chuckled and opened one eye, squinting. «You are right, but they do after all believe that the only way to do this is with a nis, for procreation only and with her underneath him with her eyes closed and her mind occupied with prayer.”
Fingon caressed Maedhros long red hair, his eyes soft. “No wonder why they all look constantly unhappy.”
Maedhros giggled. “They are envious, since they cannot have much fun they doesn’t want anyone else to enjoy themselves neither. Therefore they try to ruin it for everybody else.”
Fingon bit his lower lip, his eyes shining. “Exactly, I bet more than a few of them do enjoy forgetting about the rules, of course very discretely.”
Maedhros nodded and stretched, he felt so good. The light of Laurelin warm against his skin and he was relaxed and at peace. Fingon started planting small kisses along his hipbones and he gasped and squirmed, Fingon then let a finger slide down between his thighs, teasing his entrance. “May I?”
Maedhros nodded, still a bit hazy. «Of course, I have had my pleasure now.”
Fingon leaned forth and kissed his navel, let his tongue play with it and Maedhros squeaked and let a hand run through the thick black locks. Fingon hadn’t braided his hair this day so he wasn’t wearing the golden bands that were his usual trademark. It gave him a sort of uncouth wild look and Maedhros found that he liked it.
Fingon found a small flagon of oil in his discarded pants and poured it over his fingers, slowly and deliberately so Maedhros could see what he was doing. Maedhros felt that his heart was speeding up again, his desire rekindled. Fingon was very careful, he never moved forth too fast but this time Maedhros almost wished that Fingon would hurry. The slow and gentle preparation was almost in a way irritating; he suddenly needed to feel his lover inside of him like he needed air to breathe. He squirmed and heaved for air. “Hurry”
Fingon spread his fingers slowly, stretching and teasing him and he smiled, eyes dark with arousal and want. «I do not want to hurt you Nelyo”
Maedhros almost sobbed with impatience now and Fingon finished the preparations, coated his own cock with oil and got into position, lifted Maedhros legs and hooked them over his shoulders. The redhead let out a sharp gasp as he was breached, it always stung a bit at first but then the pleasure overwhelmed the pain and he started rocking his hips against Fingon who moaned and panted, caught in a primeval rhythm. The first time they had done this they had been inexperienced and rather nervous and they had really no idea of how to do it, they had little information and had to learn as they tested it out. It had been rather awkward and not at all very pleasant until they figured out how to prepare each other.
Now there was just intense pleasure and both forgot the world and their surroundings completely, all they were aware of was their pleasure and the sensation of being engulfed by love. Maedhros was shivering, his back arching and he was grasping onto the grass with both hands, keening with every thrust. Fingon groaned and sweaty hair clung to his skin, gave him a strange feral and ferocious look that ignited a sense of intense desire in his lover. It didn’t last all that long, both were too aroused to be able to control themselves. Before long Maedhros tensed up, his legs trembling almost violently before his eyes rolled up into his head and he screamed, a loud almost sore sound. Fingon grasped onto his pulsing cock and stroked him through the orgasm while he too shuddered and yelled, spilling his seed deep within his beloved. They collapsed into a heap of shivering limbs and sweaty skin, both flustered and breathing heavily, neither capable of speaking but words were not needed between them.
After a while they got up, walking on wobbly legs down to the lake and they dove in, swam around for a while, splashing and joking and just enjoying the feeling of being complete, as one with their beloved. Maedhros had brought some food and they sat down and ate in silence, close together in comfortable relaxed peace. The light of Laurelin was fading and Telperion was getting brighter, Fingon had erected a tent by the lake and they organized the camp and relaxed before they went to bed. Maedhros knew he had a couple of days there before he had to return home, and he wanted to make the most of them.
They spoke of everything, from the ordinary everyday events to the tense political situation within Tirion, the noldor were split apart these days, many felt as though Fëanor was unfit to be the heir of Finwë, and that Fingolfin was a better candidate. Some even claimed that the marriage between Finwë and Miriel had been marred somehow and not sanctified by the valar. After all, she had died and who had ever heard of a nis who left her child willingly? Clearly Fëanor was somehow tainted by darkness and thus unsuitable as a prince. Others on the other hand claimed that it was Finwë’s second marriage that was illegitimate and ought to be regarded as not legally binding. After all, the valar had told the eldar that marrying twice was forbidden since spouses would be reunited in the halls or even in a new life.
Some tried to increase the influence of the family of Fingolfin and Finarfin while others tried to work against them, the teleri elves didn’t bother with this conflict but the vanyar were rather eager to meddle. They saw Finwë’s second marriage as sinful in spite of the fact that Manwë himself wedded him and his new queen. So they were rooting for Fëanor in spite of many seeing him as more than a wee bit mad and he had seven sons! That spoke of a fondness of certain pleasures that shouldn’t be encouraged.
Maedhros knew that his father was angry at his father, he loved him desperately and yet there was a wedge driven in between them and he saw how it hurt them both but what could anyone do? Fëanor was never impolite against his half siblings but he was rather sarcastic and curt and he didn’t seek them out. He accepted that his sons were friends with their cousins but he didn’t want to see any of Fingolfin or Finarfin’s children in the house while he was there. Maedhros was sad that it had come to that but he did understand too, at least on some level. They sat by the bonfire and discussed the rumors that always were spread about everything from who was courting who to the imminent release of Melkor. Fëanor was very angry when he heard of that, he had been convinced that the vala only pretended to be repentant and rehabilitated. Maedhros suspected and feared that his father may be right.
They both fell asleep and the next day they stayed by the lake, bathing, relaxing, making love countless times and it was a freedom and bliss both craved intensely. They were allowed to be themselves, to show their feelings, to laugh and flirt and act like a couple of newlyweds. Fingon had made jokes about it, that they technically were married now. They had joined their bodies and were bonded, so they were wedded according to the ancient laws and rules. But same sex marriages were not accepted in Aman, the very idea would make the vanyar pass out with shock and the valar had, if not explicitly forbidden it, made some rather vague statements about it not being encouraged.
The two days were blissful, happy and later Maedhros and Fingon would remember them with a sort of melancholic longing, it had been the last truly happy days they had enjoyed together. The last morning by the lake was peaceful, the warmth had made the air feel heavy and they both went for a swim, not wanting to leave yet. Afterwards they lay upon the beach, just enjoying being there together, not wanting to think about the fact that they both had to return home to their families. They kissed and kisses became more, so much more. They got caught in their passion once more and Maedhros took Fingon on the beach, slowly and with great tenderness. Both were loud, and their desperate need for each other made them unaware of their surroundings. They didn’t hear that their horses whinnied until after both had reached their completion.
Maedhros managed to shake himself out of the haze and saw that some riders had stopped on top of the small hill, staring at them. The clothing and the colors told him they were nobles, probably out hunting and as he watched they slowly turned their horses and rode off. There was no doubt about it; they had seen everything and also who the two were. After all, there were very few red haired elves and none of his height and Fingon too was pretty easy to recognize, even without his braids and golden hairbands.
Fingon whimpered, his eyes huge and dark and Maedhros felt his stomach drop. He just couldn’t believe it, this would mean….He groaned and leaned his head onto his knees, sitting bent forward embracing himself. There would be hell for sure, if he wasn’t mistaken the riders had been some noldor nobles and also some vanyarin high born lords. There was no way they wouldn’t use this, and Fingon bit his lower lip, he was pale and Maedhros could see that his hands were shaking badly. “What are we to do?”
Maedhros sighed, tried to think rationally. «We go home, explain what has happened and prepare everybody for the storm that is coming.”
Fingon looked like he had been beaten somehow, his face so pale. “I don’t know how my father will react.”
Maedhros just shrugged, the heavy sinking feeling in his gut even stronger. His father would blow a fuse for sure. Or worse! “Your father loves you Fingon, remember that. He may become disappointed, or even angry but he won’t turn his back on you. I am sure of this.”
Fingon swallowed nervously. «I know, and yet I am afraid.”
Maedhros reached forth, grasped onto him, held him tight. «So am I, but we will get through this, together. We are bonded, they cannot separate us.”
Fingon nodded. «You are right, but they can ruin our families.”
Maedhros sighed, breathed in the scent of his lover, so distinctly Fingon and tried to relax. Tried to tell himself that it would be alright. That it wouldn’t change anything. He already knew that it would, it could change everything. They got up, got dressed, both very quiet, very nervous. Maedhros knew everything of the speed of which gossip spread through the capital, everybody would know within days and the reactions would be immediate. A part of him wished to run away, seek cover and go into hiding until things calmed down but he knew that he shouldn’t cower like some wounded beast. In his heart he knew that there was nothing wrong with the feelings they shared, it was the reactions they would be facing that were wrong, shameful or worse.
Fingon started to saddle his horse, his hands trembling slightly still and there were tears on his cheeks. Maedhros felt as though his heart was about to burst seeing this, he quickly embraced him once more. “I will do whatever I can to protect you Fin, doubt me not. I will never let you down.”
Fingon smiled, a very pale smile. “I know, but I fear what we will face.”
Maedhros kissed him, gently, slowly and with as much love as he could muster. “We will face it together; we can take on anything as long as we are together. Go now, and I will keep you updated. Be glad your family isn’t supposed to show up at court that often.”
Fingon managed to smile, slid fingers through the long red locks. «Yes, that is fortunate, it is different with you, and I pray they won’t be too judgmental”
Maedhros sighed. “There will be a lot of disappointed nissi I am sure, but I don’t care. At least they will leave me alone from now on, hopefully”
Fingon leaned against him. «Yes, but I will never let anyone speak a bad word about you, do you hear? “
Maedhros cradled him in his arms again, a tight embrace. “Neither will I, if they try to slander your name I will tell them exactly what they are worth.”
Fingon kissed him again, desperately. “You are so brave my love; I wish I had your courage.”
Maedhros just sighed and felt how the heavy sensation returned. He had to confess this to his father right away, so they could do some damage control before the rumors got spread too much. He returned the kiss, and then he broke free from the embrace. “Ride now Fin, and may the valar protect us all”
Fingon closed his eyes, let out a sort of a whimper and then he jumped onto the horse, kicked it into a full gallop without turning his head even once. Maedhros knew why, if he had then he probably would be unable to leave. Maedhros saddled his own horse in silence, feeling as if he was caught in some bizarre dream. It just wasn’t real all of this, and yet it was. He rode slowly at first, feeling empty and in a way torn between his feelings and his sense of common sense. What he really wanted was to ride after Fingon, grab him and just ride off, find somewhere they could live just the two of them, maybe in the forests of Oromë or even further south. Then he too spurred his horse and rode hard back to the family property, it was better to get it over with, one way or the other.
The yard was empty as he rode through the gates, just some birds chirped from the trees planted in the middle of the open place and he put his horse in the stable and fed and brushed him. It sort of calmed his thoughts, made him focus. The others were probably busy at this time of the day, Maglor was probably practicing his musical skills and the others were either hunting or in the forges or at school. He took a deep breath, braced himself and wandered off to find his father. Fëanor ought to be in the forge and Maedhros was right, he was. The sound of a hammer against metal could be heard from afar and he wondered what that brilliant mind had conjured up this time.
The heat felt like walking into a wall but he was used to it, he walked straight in and saw that Fëanor was busy working on something that resembled an axe blade, only that the shaft was way longer than on any axe Maedhros had seen before. It made him uneasy somehow. He hawked and Fëanor did notice him, put down the hammer and dried some sweat off his face. He smiled but the smile was very swift, as if he was distracted by what he was doing and didn’t want to think of something else. “You are back son, now, how was Tirion?”
Maedhros leaned against the wall, feeling his legs shake a bit. This was it, the moment of truth, quite literally. “Oh, it was fine…busy as always. Uh, there is something I need to tell you”
Fëanor frowned. “You are pale son, and shivering. Whatever it is, it isn’t good I am sure”
Maedhros swallowed hard, his father was very good at picking up people’s reactions and feelings, and he cursed this skill now. «No, it isn’t.”
His voice was a faint whisper and he felt how his eyes were filling with tears, suddenly he felt a strong longing to go back to the days when he was a mere elfling and his father would comfort him if anyone said something that had hurt him. Fëanor sighed, his eyes were as fiery as ever but there was a glimpse of softness within them, of the love he felt for his oldest son. “Then tell me dear one, what is wrong?”
Maedhros took a deep deep breath, then he told his father everything, of the relationship between him and Fingon that had become so much more than just friendship. Of their bonding, of the days they spent together whenever they could and the fact that they had been spotted by someone who absolutely shouldn’t have seen what they were doing. Fëanor just listened, his face didn’t change as Maedhros spilled it all, just his eyes revealed that he was thinking, and thinking hard. Maedhros finished his tale, short of breath, quivering with nervous energy and he felt ready to fall to his knees and beg for forgiveness if that was needed.
Fëanor sighed, he looked tired and his eyes were a bit distant. Then he put a sooty calloused hand onto his son’s shoulder. “ Nelyo, I have known that you prefer males since you started to awaken physically, after all I am your father and I do know you better than anyone else in this family. So, it is no shock. Neither the fact that you chose to bond with Fingon, heck, that too has been rather apparent for years. You two have been like branches of the same tree, like reeds braided together. I have eyes you know, and I am not stupid“
Maedhros was just staring at him. “You are not mad at me?!”
Fëanor sighed and sat down. “No, I am not mad at you, not anymore anyhow. I was angry for a while, when I started to realize that you and Fingon were more than just friends. I feared that that bastard brother of mine had instructed him to seduce you, to use you against me. But I was wrong, Fingon is way too innocent for something like that and I do give Fingolfin one thing, he is always so annoyingly honest.”
Maedhros swallowed again, the nervous tingling still there. “That he is yes, Fingon would never have done something like that. He loves me atya, like I love him”
His father nodded. “I know, I have chosen to be quiet about my knowledge for I know you are both come of age and you are both cunning and wise ner able to rule your own lives.”
Maedhros tried to control his own voice, tried to remain calm but he failed, his voice thin and shivering. He was so relieved that his father didn’t just explode in anger, he had been so afraid that Fëanor would demand that he ended the relationship. «So what are we to do then?”
Fëanor sent him a somewhat sad grin. “Grasp the bull by the horns son, and lead a counter attack. That is the only way we can prevent further problems.”
Maedhros tried to smile. “You do not hate him then? For…for …everything….”
Fëanor shook his head. «No, you love him, and I understand that. Yes, I am disappointed in some ways but now it is time for us to use what we have of power and skills. Go bathe and put on your best clothing, we are going to visit my father, and that has to happen now!”
Maedhros felt a bit confused, almost overwhelmed. Fëanor said that he didn’t blame Fingon, that was great but he sort of felt that his father would have said that anyhow, to shield Maedhros from his real emotions regarding his nephew. He obeyed though, took a quick bath, braided his hair and wove chains with gems on them through the thick plaits. Then he put on his best clothes and when he left his room he saw that Fëanor already was dressed up. Nerdanel stood by his side, she looked very nervous and her eyes were huge and dark. She hugged Maedhros with fierce emotion as soon as he got within reach. «Nelyo, I am proud of you, always. Remember this! Do not let anyone break you”
He kissed her brow, lovingly. «I won’t, I swear.”
He saw that Fëanor had gotten the servants ready and they had saddled two well rested horses, the best that they had. Fëanor smiled but the smile was stiff, almost hostile in a way. “When we arrive you must let me do the talking, there is just one way to face this and that is through strategic thinking. We have to choke the scandal in its infancy, before it can become a full out disaster”
Maedhros just nodded and then they mounted their horses and rode hard back to Tirion. It was a long ride but neither spoke, Maedhros just wondered how Fingolfin was reacting to the news of his son’s true colors and relationship. He probably already knew that Fingon too was gay, but he wasn’t so sure about the rest. Fingolfin was not as perceptive as his older half-brother, he was not naïve but more trustful and way more outgoing and restless. He didn’t let his interests engulf him completely the way Fëanor did. Maedhros knew that Fingolfin probably would react with a sort of calm acceptance, maybe he would shout a little at first but then he would most likely try to support his son with all means, just the way Fëanor was now. Maedhros was grateful, but he sort of felt as though Fëanor did this for him, and only for him. What Fingon felt or did was indifferent to him as long as he kept his own son safe. And to do that he also had to keep Fingon safe, an unwelcome side effect.
They rode into the city just before the mingling hour, the stable hands came to take the horses and they were bowing deeply, looking a bit confused. They hadn’t anticipated a visit from the crown prince this day. Fëanor knew that Finwë usually spent this time of the day in his study so he sort of marched towards the elegant and yet simple room in the private part of the palace. There were quite a few courtiers there, most looked a bit puzzled when they saw the two ner racing down the hallways but Maedhros felt that the news hadn’t reached the palace just yet.
Finwë was reading when they knocked on the door; he sat in his favorite chair with his crown put down on a table and his hair partly loose. He wore just simple robes and looked relaxed, almost dozing. The book couldn’t be very exciting and Maedhros managed to see the title, Garden management by some elf he never had even heard of. Finwë looked confused when he saw that it was his son and grandson, he hadn’t anticipated any visitors this evening and had looked forward to some relaxation. “Fëanor, Nelyo, what do I owe the joy of this visit?”
Fëanor sat down, his face rather expression less. “ Atya, something has happened, something rather…shall I say possibly devastating?”
Finwë frowned and put the book down; he had gotten a worried expression on his proud face. “Explain”
Fëanor sent a swift and warning glance at Maedhros; he didn’t want his son to speak at all, not now! He started telling his father everything Maedhros had said and Finwë got a bit pale, but his jaw muscles swelled and his eyes were hard. «It is a pity is it not, that one cannot openly love the one for which one’s soul yearn. I have known that Nelyo would be drawn to males since he was a youth, and I sort of guessed who he had his eyes set on, but this? How are we to solve this?”
Maedhros swallowed hard, he felt so terribly guilty! “I…I can leave, Fingon and I can travel south, live in the forests somewhere…”
His voice was a mere whisper and his grandfather got a shocked expression on his face, then he leaned forth and grasped onto Maedhros hands. “No, you are not to leave! You are not to cower, run and hide. There is nothing wrong with what you feel, nor is it anything wrong with your choice of lover. Your heart dictates this and the heart is never wrong”
Maedhros tried to smile and Fëanor sighed. “Yes, that is so, but what are we to do? There will be a lot of gossip and a lot of vicious rumors, and more so, others will use this against us. To prove that we are unfitted to rule.”
Finwë nodded, his gaze a bit distant. “Yes, I see what you are saying; there is just one solution for this, one way to choke the protests.”
Fëanor tilted his head, the long black hair shone in the soft light and Maedhros was once again struck by how similar his father and grandfather were, in looks if not of mind. “I think we are thinking of the same solution?”
Finwë smiled. «Possibly, but it all depends on one thing, we must all stand together now, we must all show that we support this and that none of us disagree. I will send a message to Fingolfin and Finarfin right away, with detailed orders.”
Fëanor sighed. «Many will demand that we turn our back to them both, that you disown Nelyo, and that I too do the same. Fingolfin will probably face the same problems, perhaps even more than us since he is seen as….less flawed than me!”
Finwë put a hand on Fëanor’s shoulder. “Neither of you are flawed, in any way. You are perfect and my family and I will do whatever is in my power to protect you all. So we have to act quickly, Fingon will have to return to the palace as soon as possible of course and everybody must act as if this is something of which everybody have known for a while.”
Maedhros swallowed. «What are you talking about?”
Finwë smiled, a wide grin. “That you and Fingon have married in secret of course, because you didn’t want the fuss and pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding”
Maedhros felt faint. «Oh Eru, well, that is one thin excuse, but believable nonetheless. But same gender marriages are not allowed, the valar are against it”
Finwë almost growled. “Let me tell you one thing Nelyo, before the great journey nobody cared about these things at all, it was accepted and never questioned. The valar may be making laws and rules for us to live by but Eru is the one who made us all, and he doesn’t mind. I am bloody sure; if he was then he wouldn’t have created souls that were drawn to others wearing the same gendered flesh as themselves. No, the valar are nothing to worry about my dear, if they protest then I will show them exactly why they chose me to be a king in the first place.”
Fëanor looked as if he suddenly was in awe of his father and Maedhros felt his heart beating faster. «What do you mean by that? We cannot return to Ennor?”
Finwë grinned, a smile which showed that he was a strong person, a person ready to do whatever it took to keep his people and family safe. «No, maybe not, but this continent is vast, there has to be somewhere else for us, if I threaten to take all the noldor with me I think they will have second thoughts.”
Fëanor tried to smile. «I think you are right, they cannot do anything to stop us if we chose to leave.”
Finwë nodded slowly. “Damn right, so, I will write some letters, and then I will make sure that the news is spread through the palace.”
Fëanor took a deep breath. “Thank you atya, fight fire with fire right?”
Finwë got up, he smiled and there was a sparkle in his eyes, Maedhros sort of understood how Finwë felt, he was facing a real challenge and that sort of reawakened the vigorous spirit within him. “Exactly! Excuse me, I have work to do, I will tell the servants that your rooms are to be prepared.”
Maedhros took a deep breath, the dice was thrown and from now on anything could happen. He felt as if this wasn’t real but it was, he was still having that sense of guilt but it was slowly dissipating. Fingon would be there too, and that was enough to lift his mood. He was already missing him and he knew that his lover too probably felt scared and alone and so very worried for the future. Servants arrived to take them to their rooms and Fëanor gave him a swift hug. “Do not worry son, it will be alright. I will not let anyone harm you in any way!”
Maedhros just managed to send his father a somewhat sheepish although grateful smile before he entered the room. He had been there so often it felt almost like home and he took a swift bath before he decided to go to bed. He was tired and even if his mind was buzzing with thoughts his fatigue overcame him and he fell asleep.
He woke up to the sound of soft knocking and he blinked and managed to sit up, he felt as if he had slept for too long and he checked that he was decent before he called out. The door opened and he let out a small gasp when he saw that it was Fingon, he had to have slept for very long indeed. “Fingon?!”
The black haired ner almost ran to the bed and embraced Maedhros firmly. “Yes, I rode as hard as I could when grandfather’s message arrived. I just arrived but I had to see you”
Maedhros closed his eyes, his Fingon was there, and everything was good then. He was suddenly strong again; ready to face just about anything.” I have missed you!”
Fingon answered with a kiss. “And I you, even though we have been apart just some hours. I am so glad to be here with you.”
Maedhros kissed him back, desperately. “So am I, how did your father react?”
Fingon sat down onto the edge of the bed, his face twitched a bit, as if he wasn’t sure of which expression to put on. «Well, calmly, most of the time that was. He sort of knew already but he needed to hear it straight from me to really believe it. He was of course a bit…shocked…He thought we had acted very irresponsibly for being caught. “
Maedhros held his breath. “But he didn’t disown you or anything?”
Fingon laughed. “Of course not, he gave us his blessings, and he will stand by us no matter what.”
Maedhros let out a sigh of relief. «Good, good, you know of grandfather’s plan then?”
Fingon nodded. «Yes, we have been married for a while right? And everybody has known but they haven’t bothered informing the other groups.”
Maedhros held onto Fingon, it felt heavenly to yet again feel his arms around him. “Yes, that is it more or less. But there will be a heck of a lot of problems still”
Fingon bit his lower lip. “I can face it, when I am with you.”
Maedhros pressed his face against Fingon’s neck, felt the familiar scent and knew that he never would betray the love he felt. “Likewise. How late is it?”
Fingon chuckled. “Late Nelyo, you have slept for way too long”
Maedhros yawned and shook himself. “I feel it. I need some food I think, and a quick wash.”
Fingon let his fingers glide through the long auburn locks and pressed a tender kiss to his forehead. “Get out of bed and wash; I will help you getting dressed. We have to pretend as if nothing is wrong remember? “
Maedhros nodded and went over to a washstand and washed his face and combed and braided his hair. They would have to show their strength now, and they couldn’t back down, not even an inch.
Fingon helped him with his robes. “Grandfather has already spoken to the council, they were a bit shocked but they are on his side in this, all of them. And they all know what to say. I think most of the noldor nobles already are informed and I hope and pray that most of them agree with grandfather.”
Maedhros nodded and got his collar straight. “As long as your father and uncle Finarfin are on our side too there shouldn’t be too many problems”
Fingon sent him a swift glance. “But there are those among the noldor who doesn’t think that the house of Finwë ought to rule at all, and then we have the Vanyar. Ingwe may agree with grandfather but he is reasonable and not a damn fanatic. The rest of them will cause problems, believe me!”
Maedhros nodded slowly. «Yes, but they are vanyar, and what we noldor do is none of their business anyhow”
Fingon tilted his head; let a finger glide along Maedhros high cheekbone. «No, it isn’t, but they love to interfere and press their own piousness down over the heads of everybody else. They will see us as abominations, as creatures of sin that shouldn’t be allowed to remain here in Tirion.”
Maedhros felt himself quiver, a sensation of dread rushed through him. “I know, but they cannot do anything to hurt us now can they?”
Fingon smiled, he put his head against Maedhros chest. «No, they cannot. They can complain but we can handle that. “
Maedhros took a quick look in the mirror; he did look just as impeccable as ever and gave Fingon’s hand a swift squeeze. “Alright, let’s face the world shall we?”
Fingon grasped his hand, smiled. “Yes, I am ready!”
Maedhros had been prepared for gossip and even verbal attacks but nothing could prepare him and his lover for the reality of it all. He did notice that he and Fingon were being shielded from most of it by their fathers, and they had to stay within Tirion but even there the effect was visible. And it was hurtful! Suddenly Maedhros felt as if people were staring at him all the time and even though most glances were benign enough some were vicious. Finwë had to face a whole delegation of nobles who demanded that both Fingon and Maedhros should be banished and Fëanor too was being accused of having raised a sick and twisted creature not worthy of being regarded as one of the eldar. The answer he gave obviously was a rather toxic one for the ellon who made the accusations had to be taken to the healers to be treated for shock.
The elves who had seen the two of them had arrived at the palace the next day, the vanyar of course outraged by it and the noldorin nobles a bit more laid back. They had sort of known that the royal family did things their own way and luckily the noldor who had seen the two lovers were elves who had been born during the great journey or before it. They didn’t really see a reason to create a fuss about it and they calmly accepted what the others there now told them, that Maedhros and Fingon were married. Of course they saw through the little deception but they kept their mouths shut for the sake of the king.
The vanyar on the other hand were more of a problem, they had eagerly anticipated a chance to create some real problems for the noldor royals, to spew out their opinion and really slander the names of the two princes but what they faced was a court and a city which already knew and even more so, didn’t care. It left them horribly frustrated and they caused quite a lot of disturbance so Finwë had them banished from his court until they learned how to behave among others. It didn’t exactly make them more accepting of the relationship they had uncovered.
Some elves did in fact approve of the marriage between the two, but protested rather heavily against it having been kept as a secret and some even suggested that the two would have to be married once more, just so that everybody could see that they were bonded and that it wasn’t just some strange joke or a brief crush. Finwë had already guessed that the marriage would trigger change and before long more came forth and wanted to marry their same gender lovers but it was a bit early for that. Most were against such a union and many believed that the marriage between Fingon and Maedhros was arranged by Finwê to bridge the gap between their fathers. Others objected whole heartedly to this notion and claimed that such a marriage without love was an even greater sin than one between two ner and so the arguments never ended.
For weeks people hardly spoke of anything except Fingon and Maedhros and it soon became very apparent that many if not all of the elves who had lived in Ennor before the great journey were on their side. Finwë knew of many who had been stopped from marrying the one they truly wanted when they arrived, elves who had to marry someone of the opposite sex just to fit in and he knew that the two now had become almost a symbol for them all. And that was a very powerful thing indeed, many forgot about the family feud and supported the whole house instead of just one of the brothers and that was good, the high king knew that it strengthened their position.
Suddenly the fragile political balance of Tirion was seriously disturbed, some were proud of Finwë and his family and their decision to support the two lovers, others were convinced that this was a sign of marring and that some other family ought to grasp the power and the discussions were both loud and fierce. But the noldor were after all relatively docile, Fingon and Maedhros were among their own and even Mahtan went forth and proclaimed that he wouldn’t do any work for anyone who did as much as throw a harsh glance at his grandson. Nerdanel too said the same and Maedhros was relieved to see that all of his cousins stuck to the plan. If anyone asked they all supported Maedhros and Fingon wholeheartedly and his brothers were fierce. They even beat up one uppity noldo who tried to slander Maedhros name, and if someone questioned the moral of their brother they acted almost like some monster with several heads, all attacking at once.
The real problem was the vanyar and they were suddenly all outraged, the most horrible things were shouted and screamed and a gathering of their most pious nobles and clergy went to the steps of Taniquetil to complain directly to the valar. The valar didn’t answer, they had probably realized that they couldn’t pick a side in this conflict for if they did there would be a riot, so they chose to stay quiet and let the storm rage until it lost its power. Finwë had grinned when he heard of it, a sarcastic snarl. He already knew that the valar weren’t perfect, they were flawed just like the first born and only Eru ought to judge in this.
The effect was felt rather soon, some vanyar refused to trade with the noldor, they didn’t show up at the markets and others refused to have noldor elves as servants or workers or teachers. They claimed that such a tainted race could ruin their children by their mere presence. The teleri elves were indifferent, they didn’t care and Olwë even sent Finwë a letter in which he congratulated the two young ner and wished that their union would prove to be a happy one. If Maedhros and Fingon accidentally met vanyar elves in the streets they sometimes were called terrible names, others ignored them completely and some spat at them. But they endured, as long as they were together.
The family stood united in this and Maedhros sort of hoped that it would repair the broken relationship between Fëanor and his brothers but it didn’t. Fêanor was never able to really speak to neither of them in a normal informal way and he only did this for Maedhros. It felt a bit sore, but he had to accept it. Nothing would make Fêanor change, and now he was busy with a new project.
Fingon was the most optimistic of them, he was making plans for the future and Maedhros did find it endearing. But he too felt the impact of it, he had used to be welcome everywhere, now many shunned him and he wasn’t allowed to participate in the summer festivals annual sports competition. Finwë almost blew a fuse when he saw the letter with the polite but rather harsh message from the elves arranging the games. They claimed that Fingon would make a bad example for the other young ner and encourage unnatural tendencies. He immediately sent them a letter which was not that much more polite explaining why the noldor no longer would be able to make jewelry, equipment nor prices for said competition, since he was afraid that the vanyar piousness would choke the very fire in the noldorin youths. Fëanor laughed so hard he almost cried when Finwë told him of it.
But they endured. Whenever Fingon and Maedhros was in Tirion they shared a room like any wedded couple would and they enjoyed the freedom they now had attained, they no longer had to hide their affection. Of course there were scores of very disappointed nissi surrounding them both, some even tried to flirt or seduce them convinced that they could somehow “transform” their desires but Maedhros soon learned to avoid them. They planned to get a home of their own as Nerdanel left the family home. She had had enough of everything and moved back to her father’s home. That gave some gossip makers new ideas; surely that family was tainted by darkness for who had ever heard of a wife leaving her bonded husband behind? Fêanor was immersed in work now and he would defend his son fiercely if anyone dared to speak a bad word against him, but he stayed in the forge most of the time.
Maedhros was happy; he couldn’t describe it in any other manner than that. He had Fingon and they lived just as they had dreamed of. The days spent doing their duties but the nights, oh the nights. Their passion and love had never burned more brightly and when they finally drifted off into sleep tangled up in the bed and sated and relaxed life was indeed wonderful. Maedhros had become even more passionate now that they no longer had to hide their relationship and so had Fingon. They just couldn’t get enough of each other.
The news that Melkor had been released reached them one afternoon when they were relaxing in one of the gardens of the palace. Most of the noldor had sort of accepted the situation by now, there wasn’t that much resistance anymore and things had become more normal, at least seemingly. Maedhros felt cold right away, he sort of felt that this didn’t bode well and Fingon too felt worried. That night they lay close together, both listening to the steady heartbeat of the other ner and both praying that this didn’t spell trouble.
Maedhros and Fingon were busy in Tirion for quite a while. Finwë wanted them all to have a good education and he let them both take care of many duties tied to the title of prince. So it wasn’t until a lot later that Maedhros learned that Melkor had been in contact with his father and he got nervous right away. He knew Fëanor, he had probably told the vala to get lost in a less than humble way and although it sort of made him proud it also made him convinced that the valar was out for no good.
Fêanor revealed the silmarilli at that time and everybody was in awe of the amazing work and the beauty of the gems. But Maedhros sensed how Fëanor sort of radiated a kind of antagonism now. He was openly hostile whenever anyone spoke of his brothers and Maedhros feared that he was going insane. Whatever Melkor had said to him, it had triggered his paranoia and the whole family was getting more and more worried.
Fingon and Maedhros tried to forget about these problems in the arms of each other, the dark thoughts and worries were driven away through desperate desire and they started to take chances now. Maedhros developed a taste for doing it in places where they could get caught and Fingon was eagerly agreeing with his every idea. It was wild and mad and wonderful and the idea of taking his partner when and where someone could possibly watch them aroused them both equally. They forgot about the world and their fears when they were caught by the frenzy of their need for each other.
Then Fëanor snapped and threatened Fingolfin publicly and the family was told to leave for Formenos. And Maedhros had never felt so torn, but Fingon solved the problem for him, he followed his lover into exile, as Maedhros followed his father. Fêanor didn’t approve, everybody could sense that. He yet again acted as if Fingon somehow was a sort of spy for his father but he didn’t confront him in any way. Maedhros didn’t want to choose between his father and his lover and now he didn’t have to. He was very grateful.
In Formenos they lived in an atmosphere of vigilant peace, Fêanor sort of eased down a bit and he was obviously grateful that Finwë had chosen to follow him. It did to Fëanor prove that Fingolfin hadn’t been able to steal his father’s affection yet. Maedhros saw it all, and he was afraid, the noldor were still torn because of his marriage to Fingon and many felt that Fingolfin would be a better high king than even Finwë was. And even more so, the fact that Fëanor’s firstborn had broken the laws and married another ner, and a relative on top of that, had forced a wedge in between the noldor and the vanyar and even if the queen stood on her husband’s side in this many doubted the legitimacy of their marriage since Finwë had been married before, and thus they ignored her orders and the way she tried to ease down the conflict. The exile and the situation had thrown fuel onto the fire and the noldor were as torn as the royal family.
Maedhros and Fingon were relaxing in their small home in Formenos; they didn’t stay in the palace since they wanted some privacy. That day they had gone hunting and Fingon was proud of himself since he had managed to fell three large bucks with thee excellent shots. Now the two of them were celebrating in the bath and Fingon was panting and gasping as Maedhros took him at the edge of the pool. They had discovered that if Fingon lay on his back with his hips at the very edge he was in perfect height for Maedhros if he was in the pool. Maedhros was breathing hard, trying not to come before Fingon who tried to endure for as long as possible. He wanted the pleasure to last and yet he ached to come, he was clinging onto Maedhros with his legs wrapped around the slender hips and he met every thrust with a gasp and a groan.
Fingon had already given Maedhros a couple of orgasms using his mouth and hands and now the redhead wanted to repay the favor in style. He changed the angle of his thrusts a little and grasped onto Fingon’s cock, stroked it in rhythm with his thrusts and Fingon arched and mewled. “Not…fair!”
Maedhros grinned. “No? oh but I think it is!”
He let his thumb slide over the head of Fingon’s cock and was rewarded with a keening cry, Fingon tensed up and he watched as his lover came hard, spurting an impressive amount of seed out over Maedhros hand and his own belly. Maedhros groaned and closed his eyes, the sensation of Fingon pulsing around him brought him headlong into another climax and he yelled Fingon’s name as he let the pleasure wash over him as exquisite waves. Fingon just lay there panting, his eyes on the roof and his expression one of utter bliss. “I wish we could do this all the time, forever!”
Maedhros grinned and pulled out, watched Fingon cringe as he slid free from his lover’s body. “Then we would be starved, exhausted and very sore too”
Fingon pulled him down for a kiss. «Maybe, but let us continue in bed, I feel like having a soft matrass underneath me, not these cold hard tiles.”
Maedhros laughed and lifted Fingon effortlessly, carried him to their bedroom. “Then get ready for round two, I still owe you one”
Fingon giggled and squirmed, Maedhros tossed him down onto the bed and followed him down and before long all that was heard was heavy breathing and whispered endearments. They fell asleep afterwards, spooning and feeling safe and loved, surely things would right themselves out. Fëanor would come to an agreement with his brothers and then they could return to Tirion and life would be easy once more.
Maedhros woke up with a start, he was sure he had heard screams off in the distance, and he had a terrible sinking sensation in his chest. The room was dark, too dark. The curtains were not closed and there ought to be a soft silvery light there even at night. Now it was pitch black and he felt a surge of panic. He reached out, there was a candle by the bed and there were embers in the fireplace. He got out of bed and wobbled over to the hearth, managed to get the candle alight. Fingon slept but he woke up, blinking and confused. “Beloved, what is wrong?”
Maedhros felt his throat go dry. «Something horrible has happened. I just know it.”
Fingon went pale, he looked like a frightened child all of a sudden, reaching out to be comforted and Maedhros ran back to the bed, embracing him tightly. Fingon was shivering, his eyes huge. “Why is it dark, please Nelyo, what has happened?”
Maedhros breathed in the beloved scent and closed his eyes. “I do not know, but I will not let anything happen to you”
Fingon just breathed hard and Maedhros held onto him until servants and some of his brothers came running, telling of their grandfather’s death and the theft of the silmarilli. He knew it then, it would forever change their world, forever change who they were and a part of his soul was screaming in denial, in rage. But he knew, and he couldn’t change fate. From this day on nothing would be the same.
All that we were… He could barely remember the days and weeks after that terrible night, the only thing that was sort of glued to his mind was the oath, that terrible oath that had proved to the thing tearing them all apart. He had believed in his father’s words, hadn’t dared not to. And now, now it was all over. The red light from the burning ships reminded him of blood and he wept as he followed his brothers towards their fates. In his heart there was a huge empty void, he called out for his beloved using his osanwë but the distance was too great. Fëanor had managed to tear them apart after all, his mind shredded by grief and rage and hatred. Now all he could hope for was the chance of maybe one day seeing him again. All that we were…was but a dream… And dreams will always come to an end….
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