Winterborn part 6

Sorry i messed up, posting from chapter 1 to 18, and then chapter 23 which i had called chapter 24 in my lj, and forgot the last chapter… jeesh!.. sorry.. i got it sortet out now, but im afraid that a whole lot of this is not betaed.

Under the cut;
Chapter 21 – Northern wind.
Chapter 22 – My spirit sleeping somewhere cold.
Chapter 23 – I’m always singing it.

21- AN:  oh my I have an overactive muse, and I have set my beta on hard work. I am even beginning to brew on a damn sequel.. in my head that is. I just got so many good ideas atm. I KNOW I fuck up timelines, but hey its AU, and I can do what I bloody well please *laughs* as long as its a fun story to write, and hopefully a nice story to read. And yea I admit I’m falling in love with Celebrimbor, we will see a lot more of him I guess. ( Formenos = the stronghold where Fëanor lived with his family after the banishment from Tirion, Nelyafinwë = Maedhros’ father-chosen name meaning Third Finwë in succession, Barad Eithel = Fingon and his fathers stronghold at the mouth of Sirion )

Betaed by
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Chapter 21 – Northern wind.

Maedhros pulled the prisoner to his lap, using his right hand to soothe the feverish hot forehead of the young elf. “Shh” he whispered, as the young elf trembled.

“Amrod?” the prisoner whispered

Maedhros felt a bile taste rise in the back of his mouth, “yes I am here,” he whispered, looking at youngster in his lap, fair features graced the elf, and would have been a beauty beyond songs, had he not lain here broken in body and soul.

A smile slipped over the young elfs lips, “you came,” he breathed, before his breathing got more laboured and shallow.

A cold tinge went down Maedhros’ spine; these had been his exact words to Fingon as he hung upon the cliff. “Don’t..” he croaked, but the youngsters body convulsed, “no!” Maedhros groaned, and with strength he didn’t even knew he possed himself, he rose to his feet, the young elf over his shoulder, and hurried off up the stairs from the dungeon towards the healers hut. He prayed the Valar he was not late, that this young elf would not expire before he reached the healers. But as he gently laid the young elf on a bed once at the hut, he recognized the ashen sullen look. “No! Damned be!” he cried and kicked the bed angrily. “Caranthir” he hissed, as he realised that his brother for long had known that this elf indeed was one of Dior of Doriath’s sons, and where the stone was taken. Yet he had taken pleasure in breaking this young elf. Amrod had tried to stop it, he knew this now, but in his own grief before, he had not seen or listened to his youngest brothers words. “Oh by Eru” he groaned. “What have we become? This was not supposed to happen, the Valar pity is, and keep this boy safe until he once more can walk the white shores.”

Leaving the healing chambers he made straight for the hall of fire, encountering his mother and Caranthir talking in hushed voices “Caranthir!” he bellowed, striding up to his brother with long angry strides “I want you out within the hour, where you go is up to you, as long as you remove yourself from my sight, or by Eru there shall be another kin slaying within my own halls!” he yelled.

Caranthir just looked at Maedhros with wide eyes “Maedhros” he breathed. Frightened by the fire he saw in his brother’s gaze, knowing he was telling the truth.

“I know what you did!” Maedhros sneered “you are… you are.. “ his anger turned ice cold as he watched his brothers bright blue eyes, wide in horror. “Banished from here, for 5 years to come, do not call upon kinship, for non will listen until your banishment ends” leaving his mother and brother in the hall, Maedhros turned on his heel and left the room heading towards his own office, he would give the son of Dior a proper pyre.
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Time passed, and Maedhros’ only comfort in these times was Celebrimbor that had grown into a young elf, much like he remembered Pitya. Dwelling here he knew years had passed, and that there had to be a reason for his brothers not returning. The eldest son of Fëanor had used all his time trying to communicate between tribes, thinking that this might finally bring the peace these lands needed, if they could by one joined effort banish evil, and together men and elves, he was sure they were strong enough. His nightmares had grown worse over the years, tormenting him so, in his dreams Fingon had found him on the cliff, but before he could shoot his arrow, not an eagle came to his beloved to aid him, but a Balrog. Scorching his lover as he stood there, turning him into a walking torch, screaming over and over. And him hanging there, unreleased to a grim ending. Sometimes he even woke having pains in the hand that was now not naught but dust.

This morning he woke bathed in sweat, tumbling out of bed, wrapped in his own bedlinnen, the screams of Fingon roaring in his ears, even the smell of burning flesh lingered in his nostrils. It took him along moments to collect himself, as were he coming out of a trance, he laid his head back on the madras and closed his eyes. How pathetic and alone he felt right then, remembering how Fingon had wrapped his arms around him, and kissed the corner of his mouth, trailing a soft path down over his column to his shoulder ‘nightmares meleth, they are just nightmares’ he would whisper tenderly, for years and years he had dreamt of swords cutting flesh, flames and screams. Those dreams had fled for a far worse one. Maedhros smiled bitterly to himself as he recalled the last time they had seen each other as lovers, the tent had been warm, and Fingon had been edgy and desperate in his need. That was such a long time ago, sometimes it felt like aeons, or like it never happened.

Hard knocking on the door shook him from his dark thoughts, “enter” he called out loud, but did not move.

The door opened and a young elf came in, shuffling his feet nervously as he saw his lord sit only dressed with linen on the floor. His red hair tussled from sleep, and his white skin almost glowing in the early light, the poor young messenger was lost in the sight, for even if his body was scarred Maedhros was still counted amongst the fairest of the quenya.

“What? Speak boy,” Maedhros said with a slightly amused smile as the boy blushed, being made aware that he had been starring.

“A messenger arrived from Lord Fingon” he said an smiled nervously “he left in haste, but passed a parcel for you, my lord”

“I see” Maedhros said, still amused over the boys nervousness “pray tell, what is your name boy?” he asked with a devious hint in his grey eyes.

“Polod, my lord” he said, brushing ferociously

Maedhros rested his good hand on the floor and turned, his long red hair dancing across the floorboards, he tilted his head up and looked at the boy with a suggestive smile “say Polod, do you find me fair?”

The poor young elf nodded “the fairest, my lord” he croaked.

Maedhros slowly rose to his feet, holding on to the bedlinnen, “come here” he said, ignoring the little voice in the back of his mind as the young elf came closer. Looking straight into the young elves large green eyes, Maedhros smiled “touch me” he whispered as he let the linen fall, pooling around his feet. The young elf reached a shaky hand out and ran his fingertips over Maedhros’ arm. Shaking his head Maedhros chuckled, not sounding amused at all “no, like you would your lover” he whispered, grabbing the young elfs slender hand and caressing his own chin with it. Feeling Polod’s hand tremble, disgusted with himself as he felt his pulse rise, and blood run to his groin, the young elfs fear, turned him on.

“Pl.. Please my lord” Polod whispered “I cannot” the young elf trembled even more.

Shaken from his pleasant spell, Maedhros tightened his hold on the young elfs hand, crushing it “and why not? Were it not you that looked at me that way, no doubt thinking what my mouth felt like on your skin, or did you wonder how I looked as you would ram yourself into my hot willing flesh?” his voice had taken a tone of annoyance and anger.

“Not at all my lord” Polod answered desperately, afraid to move, but his hand hurt badly “I mean.. Forgive me my lord, but you are hurting me”

Maedhros let go of the youngster’s hand, and sat down on the bed again with a bump “leave me” he whispered

“But my lord” Polod said taking a step forth

Maedhros just shook his head “leave the parcel here with me, and just go” he said with a tired voice

“Will you not at least hear me out my lord?”

“And why should I?” Maedhros said, rubbing his face with his hand, looking fatigued.

Polod took yet another step closer “because you might want to hear what I say, my lord” he kneeled at his lords feet, looking up at the red haired elf. “I am in love with someone,” he whispered “a close kin of yours, and therefore I cannot share myself with you, even if I want to. You are most fair my lord, and your offer are beyond any dream of mine. But I cannot betray the one whom I love” when Maedhros looked down at him he looked puzzled “my lord” Polod said.

“Celebrimbor?” he asked

Polod nodded and blushed yet again “yes, my lord”

“Does he return those feelings of yours?” Maedhros asked, raising the youth’s head with two fingers under Polod’s chin.

“Aye, he told me so” Polod stammered, his throat moving compulsively.

A soft look graced Maedhros’ features “then go to him, take the rest of the day off, and go to him” he had almost added ‘and make him happy’ but he didn’t. He just caressed the young elfs chin tenderly “run along now” he said

Polod looked absolutely stunned, but nodded eagerly before he hurried from Maedhros’ chambers. Leaving the prince to his own thoughts. Maedhros found it strange, but amusing that Celebrimbor was really that old, it seemed like yesterday Amrod had found him at the gate. With a sigh he flopped back on the madras, closing his eyes as he reached down between his legs, encountering his flaccid member. But his mind wandered off as he ran his fingers up and down the silken skin, and it soon became as hard, spreading his legs further he ran his hand down under his sacks, breaching himself with a finger, little stars of lust spiralled up, and the red haired elf hissed from the sensation. “Fi..” he whispered, moving his hand back up, taking his member in his hand, stroking it with a unmerciful pace, finding his release quickly.

Later when he had had a bath, and had been dressed for the day’s duties, he suddenly saw the parcel laying on his desk. Walking over he picked it up, broke the seal and unrolled it, reading with dawning dread the news from his cousin.

Maitimo.
The babe has fallen ill, and my wife is bedridden with worry. My healers cannot tell me what is amiss with the wee one. They only stutter when they tell me we should give him a name soon. Maitimo my dear, dear friend, I call upon you in this my hour of need. Morgoth’s hordes have attacked Barad Eithel. Many have been lost, my father disagrees, but we cannot hold this storm on our own. Fret not my friend, your brothers live still, Russa have even found love here, but it shall all be in vein if we listen to my father, help us. For the sake of Eru! I believe him to have gone mad. If not for me, then for the sake of my son, and your brothers, we need aid.
Fingon.

Maedhros’ eyes grew big. Attack? For how long had this been going on? Why had he not been told until now? “By Eru!” he said to himself, before he hurried out of the room, clutching the parcel. “Celebrimbor!” he yelled “Celebrimbor! Get dressed, we ride now!”

Celebrimbor tumbled highly ungracefully out of his rooms, looking half asleep. “Maitimo? My Lord?” he said with a hoarse voice, blinking confused at the tall elf.

“We ride now!” he just said, but couldn’t help but to smile as he saw Polod in the bed in the far end of Celebrimbor’s room, pulling the sheet over his head, hiding in the sheets. His nephew opened his mouth to speak, but Maedhros just silenced him with a shake of his head “save the questions for the trip, we have days of hard ride before us. Get ready, now!” he said with a stern voice.
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As promised the ride was long, cold and hard. Maedhros had gathered whatever of his army that was not strictly needed to guard Himring and Nerdanel. Setting up camp at night pained Maedhros, and this night more than the others, in the morning they would be at the stronghold. He just wanted to go on, push through the night and come save Fingon. But he knew his marshal was right, he could not risk tiring the warriors and animals so. And on this the last night before battle, he was in a fell mood. Every elf avoided him, only entering his tent if they strictly had to. And as he sat in his large wooden chair and starred into the fireplace at the middle of the floor, he heard the tent flap open, and soft footsteps come in. “My Lord? Uncle?”

Maedhros turned in his chair, seeing Celebrimbor standing in the shadows, as he stood there he looked like Curufin, and he felt a pang of grief for his dead brother. “Child” he said with a warm smile “what brings you here?” he reached out with his right hand and gestured for the youth to step closer.

Celebrimbor came up and sat crosslegged on the ground next to his uncle. “Grandmother gave me my fathers tent,” he stated with a strange hollow voice “what was he like, uncle?”

“He was my brother and I loved him dearly,” Maedhros said, “he was the most skilled swordsman I ever saw.” He looked down at the young elf “he would have been a great father to you, unfortunately he never had the chance”

Celebrimbor shook his head sadly

“These are strange times my child” he whispered as he placed his hand on the youth’s shoulder and squeezed gently “cry not for those long perished, find your faith in the ones that prevail” he winked and smiled. Celebrimbor blushed, and Maedhros whispered, “He is fair and just”

“How did you?..” Celebrimbor said with a low voice

“I just do penneth” Maedhros said with a fatherly smile “fight with all your spirit, you have a warm bed and the touch of a lover to return to”

Celebrimbor smiled “I do, don’t I?”

Maedhros chuckled and whacked the youngster over the neck softly “oaf” he teased. Celebrimbor chuckled too, but quickly fell silent and serious again.

“Uncle, can I ask you something?” he said, Maedhros nodded and Celebrimbor continued “in all these years, I have never seen you with a lo.. Lo.. Someone special, to keep the long hours at bay, how come?”

Maedhros sighed “oh I did have someone special once, when I was at your age” he absentminded bit a nail before he spoke more “but that is such a long time ago, when we were still at Valinor”

“You left her at Valinor?” Celebrimbor gasped

“Him, not her. And no I didn’t, he and I were lovers still at these shores for some years”

“What happened?” the youth said, mouth agape, trying to imagine his uncle as a youth in love.

“What happened?” the red haired elf sighed, and felt old, weary to the bones “we got older” he knew he lied, but it didn’t matter, there was no use of laying the truth on the child. “Don’t worry about old tales like that, you should rest now, we have much to do in the morn, and you need all the strength you have in you”

“Uncle, can I sleep in here? I don’t like being alone in that tent” Celebrimbor whispered, hoping he would not be ridiculed.

“Of course penneth” Maedhros said with a smile, remembering how frightened he had been when he had been but a little older than Celebrimbor, and they were all banished to Formenos. He would have given everything to curl up next to his father. “When I was a child” he said to himself, knowing Celebrimbor laid in bed and listened. “I lived in a wonderful place, mother had to repair my clothes endlessly, she said I must tear them on purpose. Where as, Maglor did not ruin his clothing as fast as I. He was always mother’s favourite, but as father returned. He would embrace me first, I still remember that special smell of brimstone and sweat, and I thought it the most wonderful smell in the world. And as he smiled he smiled just for me, ‘Nelyafinwë’ he would say. Only he ever called me that” Maedhros stopped and listened, the youth’s breath had steadied fast asleep. He smiled to himself as he rose from the chair and went to the bed and laid down next to his nephew, tomorrow, he told himself. Tomorrow my heart, we will be there.

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22- AN:  As I said on my LJ this will be the last from me for now. I have to be without Internet for some time, 2 months or so. But I promise I will return with some stuff for you. The end of both DBTW and Winterborn.

Betaed by
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Chapter 22 – My spirit sleeping somewhere cold.

Thangorodrim = The three mighty peaks that Morgoth raised from the Iron Mountains above the gates of Angband, and from the middle peak he hung Maedhros from his right wrist, as a punishment.

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When they arrived, Maedhros first thought it was a bad dream. The stronghold was almost empty, only a few orcs scattered about, trying to pry the corpses of those slain. Maedhros jumped off his horse and ran into the building, calling for his cousin, feeling fear well up inside, dread capturing his soul in a death-grip. “Fingon! Fingon!” he called over and over. Running from room to room. Upon entering what he knew to be his cousins bedrooms, he saw a figure on the floor laying tossed aside in a pool of blood, he quickly walked over, and as he turned the dead body he saw it was Fingon’s wife. “Oh Eru!” he whispered, letting go of her arm, the dead elven lady fell down with a thump into the pool again. At first Maedhros was just scared that Fingon was injured, and then dreaded his passing, but now. Now his blood turned to ice, believing his beloved cousin was a prisoner. There were some things worse than death, he thought to himself. “Fingon” he cried. Climbing to his feet, ready to run again, when he saw the open door, tip toeing there, he peeked inside, his weapons drawn. “Fingon?” he whispered, waiting for an answer or an attack. Then he heard it, a soft wailing. The babe! Tossing caution at the wind Maedhros stepped into the poorly lit room, seeing soft toys and a crib, ah the child’s room, he thought to himself.

Searching the room he pushed the crib aside, and there, against the wall he saw it. “Fingon!” he gasped tossing his sword, Fingon sat with his eyes closed against the wall, leaning on his side, as had he been protecting something, a deep gash bled from his side, and yet another from his arm. With shaking hands Maedhros touched his cousins neck searching for a pulse, when he found one he felt tears starting to fall from his cheeks. Turning Fingon so he had his back against Maedhros’ chest, he gently pried the precious cargo, which Fingon had been protecting, with his life. The babe. He offered the child his knuckle to suck, to keep it quiet.

“Maedhros! My Lord!” he heard someone call from the corridor.

“Here,” he yelled, “come quick, I need help, the kings son is alive”

Celebrimbor and two soldiers came rushing into the nursery and the youth fell to his knees next to Maedhros, leaving the two soldiers at the door. He didn’t say anything; he just gently lifted the child from Fingon’s protective arms. He looked up at his uncle, not saying a word, his eyes asking the question his lips would not pass. “He lives,” Maedhros said with a strange raw voice, “for now.”

The youngest Fëanorian stood and cradled the baby in his arms, “get the blanket,” he said to one of the soldiers “the one with the silver stars.” The guard handed Celebrimbor the dark blue blanket with silver stars, and the youth quickly wrapped it around the child. “I shall go to my tent with the wee one,” he said with a soft voice.

As he turned to leave Maedhros said, “Ask Fárëa, his wife had 3 babes, he will know what to do.”

“I will,” Celebrimbor said as he strode out of the nursery with grim determination.

“My Lord?” one of the soldiers said as he stepped closer “I have word from your brothers Lord Amras, and Lord Amrod. They are both alive and unharmed.”

“Thank you, tell them I shall see them later,” Maedhros said with a thin voice. “You two, help me get Lord Fingon to my tent.”

“But my lord, he is..”

“NO!” Maedhros snapped, turning his head to face the soldiers. ”He lives, and he is to be taken to my tent, and lain in my bed. Now!”

The soldiers went to pick up Fingon when Maedhros swatted away their hands. “I changed my mind, I shall carry him myself,” he said with a flat tone. He stood up with a laboured move and with great difficulty picked up Fingon, the soldiers tried to help, but Maedhros wouldn’t allow it.

Seeing Amrod and Amras once they came to the campsite, they helped their elder brother getting into the tent. And Maedhros lay Fingon down as gently as he could. “Brother,” Amrod said “you might not need my counsel on this one, but please let me fetch a healer for our cousin.” Maedhros didn’t answer, but Amras picked up where his twin left off, laying a hand on Maedhros’ shoulder. “Pitya is right, cousin Fingon needs medical treatment if he is to survive.”

Maedhros ran a hand over his cousin’s black hair, now covered in blood. “Who did this to you,” he whispered. Feeling nauseous as he looked upon his old lover’s broken body, it brought back unwanted memories. He ran his hand along Fingon’s chilly cheek down to his neck where he encountered the fine silver chain, pulling it gently he saw the rings still there, all this time. And his cousin still carried these next to his heart.

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The healers managed to nurse Fingon until they were fairy sure he would survive the journey to Himring. The journey in itself was eventless and in silence, in addition to their precious cargo of the high king’s son and grandson, they also had Amras’ newfound love with them. Counting no casualties amongst their own army, they all just ached to see Himring’s grey walls as quickly as possible.

Nerdanel stood alone as the cortege came through the great gates, her heart heavy with apprehension, no messenger had reached her to tell her that her sons were alive and well, but when she saw the twins she let out a breath she had not even aware that she had been holding. Amrod and Maglor went to greet their mother as the first thing. Amras keeping back, not knowing how his mother would react upon him courting this maid. Nerdanel on the other hand came over to where Amras stood, and buried her son in an embrace, meaning so much more than any words. “Mother?” Amras whispered letting go of her, still holding on to her hands. “I have an something to say to you, but I fear this is not the moment,” he blushed a little and looked at his feet.

“My dear son, there is never a fell time for news of the reason for your smile,” she said, smiling her self, upon seeing Amras smiling a little timid smile.

“Mother when I was at Fingolfin’s court, I lost my heart,” he paused and looked at Nerdanel, “I brought her with me, for I do love her dearly.” Squeezing his mother’s hands Amras looked at his feet again. “I realise that the bond I wish to share with her, has no political or financial gain for our family.. but..”

“shh” Nerdanel hushed her son. “Look at me Amras,” she said, and her son looked up meeting her gaze. “You have yet to tell me your beloved’s name.”

“Rukima” Amras whispered, trying his hardest to keep his mothers gaze.

“Ah” Nerdanel said with an understanding nod “,and where might she be?”

“Here milady,” a little voice said, as a black-haired young elf maid stepped out behind Amras. “I am Rukima,” she curtsied and blushed under Amras’ acknowledging smile.

Nerdanel looked at the maid with a calculated smile “I am Nerdanel, mother of Amras, and wife of Fëanor.” seeing the girl pale a little she patted Amras’ hand and let go of her son. “You are free to stay for now young Rukima” she said with a motherly smile “I am sure Amras will help you get acquainted with the premises and customs here.”

“Yes, thank you milady,” Rukima answered, and Amras just leaned over and kissed his mothers cheek. “I love you mother,” he whispered, before he grabbed Rukima’s hand about to walk off with her, when Nerdanel’s voice stopped him.

“Amras, where is Maedhros, where is my eldest son?”

“He rode beside one of the wagons for the entire trip, I have not seen him since our arrival,” Amras answered before whisking off with his lady.

Nerdanel gave up finding her elusive son, and walked back into the stronghold. Only to be met by Maglor who lingered at her door together with Celebrimbor. “Mother, please share a moment with us,” Maglor said in an odd stiff voice. Nerdanel, sensing something wrong, just knitted her eyebrows but opened the door and let them in to her private chambers. Gesturing for them to sit, she seated herself in her favourite rocking chair, waiting for Maglor to speak.

“Uncle Fingolfin’s stronghold was utterly destroyed, everyone missing, kidnapped or killed,” Maglor said with a low soft voice “all but some. Maedhros came upon cousin Fingon, and his child, they both lived.” he looked at Celebrimbor for a second, and then back to his mother before continuing. They are very weak, but we brought them here.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Nerdanel said with a cold voice.

Celebrimbor pulled the blanket of the bundle he was carrying to the side a little, and a little child was revealed. Nerdanel felt her heart ache, as the wee one looked more like a birds young, than a baby. “He needs a name,” Maglor said with a little voice, he needed not explain more, they all knew what he meant, this child was dying, and no soul should perish from this earth without a name, if it had no name to give the great Valar Namo, then he should not be able to welcome it into his halls.

Nerdanel stood up and gently pried the child from Celebrimbor, she looked down at it and smiled as the child opened his big blue eyes and looked directly at her. “There is hope for you yet, descendant of great kings.” Maglor came to look over Nerdanel’s shoulder, at the child in her arms, for less than a minute ago they had all just waited for him to stop breathing, and now the wee one smiled and reached out for Nerdanel’s face. “From this day on, you shall be known as Erenion,” she whispered.

“Erenion” Maglor whispered smiling at the baby. “Yes, there is hope for you still little star.”
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Leaving the baby fed and sleeping with Maglor, Nerdanel made her way to the healers house. News had reached her that her son would linger here, and that this was the reason that he had not come to see her yet. But what she saw upon entering the dimly lit house she had not been prepared for, Maedhros sitting on a chair resting his upper body on the side of a cot, where another elf lay, ashen and close to leaving his earthy shell. She stepped closer and now she could see it was indeed Fingon. “Maedhros,” she whispered, and her son stirred on the bed. “Maedhros,” she repeated softly, and awareness stirred in his eyes.

“Mother?” he whispered, he sat up and stretched his back, clearly in pain from being seated in so uncomfortable a position for so long. “The child?” he asked as he rubbed his arms.

“Is well for now,” she said with a smile, knowing this would please Maedhros. “My son, why don’t you go sleep. And I shall watch your cousin.”

“No,” Maedhros said, taking a hold of Fingon’s cold hand rubbing it gently. “He saved me, when all others lost hope, including me. I will not abandon him now.”

“Your brothers never lost hope,” Nerdanel said as she sat in the far end of Fingon’s bed. “Nor did I.”

“You are no adept liar mother,” Maedhros whispered as he rubbed his cheek with his cousins limp hand, “he *came* for me mother,” the red haired elf said with a strained voice, it was like a little prayer in itself and Maedhros did not care explain further.

Nerdanel stayed silent and watched her son caress his cousins hand, “I named his son Erenion,” she finally said, at loss for word.

“That is a powerful name,” Maedhros whispered.

Nerdanel nodded “rightfully worn by a powerful soul, that child is a fighter Maedhros.” she said “He should have perished a hundred times over, from lack of correct food, cold, loss of his mother, trauma to the head, shock even.”

“He is Fingon’s heir,” Maedhros said with a little smile “loved by the Valar.”

“Son,” Nerdanel said as she reached in over Fingon, and with two slender fingers forced Maedhros to look up and directly into her face. “Stop tormenting yourself so, you and your brothers are different from other elves, you have but this one chance to do everything right, your cycle of rebirth is cut off from you. Believe me could I somehow change the Valar’s doom over you, my sons. I would!” Nerdanel smiled a little strained smile. “You my son, you have to make every minute count, you do not have the sweet promise of a glorious afterlife in the halls of waiting.”

Maedhros didn’t answer his mother, but unshed tears of fatigue and fear welled up in his eyes.

“Had the Valar truly hated you, they would have struck you down at the very shore of Valinor,” Nerdanel said softly, brushing a tear from her son’s cheek with a thumb. “Trust me Maitimo, your part in shaping this world is not over unless you will it so.”

“I was so afraid, mother,” Maedhros whispered, closing his eyes.

“Of what penneth?” Nerdanel asked

“T..That he would be repulsed of what I had been reduced to,” Maedhros whispered barely audible “that he would stop loving me, that he would wish he had just granted me my wish upon Thangorodrim.” He opened his eyes and looked at his mother, feeling weary to the bone, and in need of a confession, he had held this inside for too long. “For as long as I remember there has been no other in my heart.”

Nerdanel winced as Maedhros looked away from her, and she raised his chin again. “My son, I pass no judgement upon love, love in its purest intentions is more powerful than anything, even more powerful than the great Valar of Mandos.”

Maedhros felt relieved tears starting to steam down his cheeks as he turned his face to kiss his mothers hand. “I love you Nana,” he whispered.

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AN: almost there! This fic is not the longest, but the goddamn slowest one I ever wrote. And even if I love Winterborn, my first big silmarillion project. Then I will be glad when it’s finished, both for the rush of a finished fic of course, but also that I really want to write something else. I just can’t stand the idea of dumping a fic. And I still have all Marja’s loverly notes to work from. If there is one thing I learned in the process of writing this, it must be, write the damn storyline before you write the fic’s first chapter. It stinks going dead in the middle… slashus fictus interuptus -laughs- never mind that! I still got 2 chapters left in me for this fic, and here we go –smiles- and three cheers for my laptop, heh allows me to keep a better eye on my kids *wink*
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Chapter 23 – I’m always singing it.

In the middle of the night, Maedhros woke from the baby crying, knowing how fatigued his mother had looked, he got out of his bed, walking directly to the child’s room, he smiled as he entered, this had been Celebrimbor’s chambers as a babe too. Seeing his mother sleeping in a chair, Maedhros gently shook Nerdanel’s shoulder “mother?” he said softly

Nerdanel opened her eyes, blinking confused. “Maitimo” she whispered “oh. The baby” she said once she was more aware of her surroundings, moving to get up.

“Go sleep mother” Maedhros said, smiling at his mother. Who smiled gratefully at her son. Maedhros reached down into the crib with his left arm, not having taken his prosthesis on, not that he would actually ever touch another living creature with it, even less a babe. Holding the babe, he used what was left of his right arm, to push the blanket up around the enfant, “hello there, I am your uncle” he whispered. The baby stopped crying being rocked, and someone talked to him, Ereinion started to coo and drool with a stupid grin on his face. This had Maedhros chuckling “it is the middle of the night, child. You are supposed to sleep” but the baby didn’t care, he just grinned more. And in the end Maedhros gave up “come penneth, shall we see if we can find you some milk?”

Pushing the door open with his foot, Maedhros made his way to the kitchen, waking up the kitchen maid as he rammed into some pots that went to the floor with a huge crash. Smiling a little embarrassed smile as the kitchen maid came into the kitchen in her nightgown with a lantern. “Forgive me; I didn’t see where I went”

“Lord Maedhros” the kitchen help said courting her lord.

Maedhros just smiled “I am afraid I need some help” he said, smiling his most charming smile “Ereinion seems to be hungry, and.. uhm.. I don’t know how to make him something to feed of”

The kitchen maid smiled “but of course sir, right away” she hurried off and juggled with milk, and boiling water and all kinds of gizmos that made Maedhros’ head reel by the sheer thought of having to do that himself, he would never have gotten past the ‘lets wake the maid’ anyways. But never the less, a moment later, the female elf reached out a bottle for the baby, blushing ferociously as it occurred to her that Maedhros could not receive it.

“Here” he said lifting his arm stump from the blanket. The kitchen help did as she was told, and Maedhros smiled, trying to save the poor female elf from more embarrassing moments. “Would you open the door please?” he said. The poor kitchen aid, paled. Frightened that her lord would soon be furious with her, and hurried to open the door. Maedhros turned in the door, and smiled at the female elf “think nothing of it” he was about to say, ‘I am used to it’ but he thought it was just smarter to leave the poor woman to her sleep. Once in the corridor, he smiled down at Ereinion “let us go and feed you”

Once up, he noticed there was a fire in the grand hall. Curious he went there, finding Fingon sitting in a rocking chair. Maedhros smiled to the baby “look your papa is sleeping, shhhhh” he went and sat by the fire, but as soon as he sat down, the enfant began to whine. And he had to stand in order to hush him up, looking over at Fingon who still slept, Maedhros smiled. He had missed his cousin immensely, and just seeing him sitting him there, had butterflies well up inside him, sorrow and joy in one mingled emotion. But finding him asleep Maedhros slowly begun to sing to the bay, dancing to himself on the spot, at first Ereinion found it very amusing, but when it continued he yawned, and slowly started to close his eyes. Maedhros stood in front of the fire with the baby, lost in his success of dancing the baby to sleep. He didn’t notice that Fingon had wakened from his sleep, watching them.

Fingon couldn’t help but to smile at the vision, he couldn’t remember he had ever seen Maedhros dance, or sing for that matter. And here he was, doing both. It was a far cry from Maglor’s perfect singing. But it had a nice warm tone, and it was not too much out of key. Sitting completely still so Maedhros would not know he was awake, Fingon kept watching them, his beloved cousin, and his son. Knowing all to well his life would never be complete without one of them. He needed them both, he tilted his head, and blinked, it was really a shame that Maedhros never had any sons of his own. He would have been a splendid parent, but then, Fingon thought to himself. He had never met any rage from Fëanor; never had he really raised his voice against his own children. That elf was somewhat an enigma still; he could command grand battles, slaying his own kind of a whim. But he would never even raise a hand towards one of his own sons.

Getting caught off guard, Fingon had not seen Maedhros turn, seeing him awake. Looking up, he saw his fire haired cousin light up in a brilliant smile. “shh” he said, walking off with the now sleeping Ereinion.

Fingon just closed his eyes once more, relishing the warmth from the fireplace, it had taken him months to move around like this, without any pain, and now spring was trying to break through. But the cold still lingered here, he did not know if it was in these halls or in its inhabitants. But it seemed like the stronghold it self had lost hope. As he heard Maedhros’ soft voice ask if he was still sleeping. Opening his eyes slowly Fingon mumbled “not anymore” with a sly grin.

“Did you just sit there and watch me embarrass myself?” Maedhros chuckled, sitting down on the floor with his back to the fire.

“Of course, cousin” Fingon said still smiling.

A wicked grin spread on Maedhros pale face “if you tell, then I will tell you called for your mamma when I rescued you”

“Ouch!” Fingon laughed, holding his hands over his heart “that’s cold”

“I am the master of blackmail, remember?” Maedhros said, as he stood up, still grinning. “Care for a drink, cousin?”

“Yes please, oh master of blackmail” Fingon said, holding out his hand, taking the cup that Maedhros brought him. “I had forgotten that song you sang,” he said casually. Knowing that Maedhros would know exactly what he was talking about. Fingon used to sing that song, as he would untangle his cousin’s hair, in the aftermath of their youthful lovemaking.

Maedhros just nodded and said with a sad voice, “it made him sleep didn’t it?”

“Indeed” Fingon said. After long moments of silence, and Maedhros stood behind him, Fingon turned and winched as the moment pulled in his scar across his left flank. “Maedhros?”

“Aye” Maedhros said, looking concerned at his cousin. “Does the wound still cause you discomfort?” he said unable to hide how deeply troubled he was. Walking around Fingon again, he sat down on the floor in front of his cousin again.

“A little” Fingon admitted “I should lay off the gymnastics for some time” he tried to smile, but it did not reach his cousin.

“Turning in a chair is hardly gymnastics” the red haired elf stated, taking a sip of his own cup “you should go see the healers tomorrow morn”

“Yes mother” Fingon said with a childish pout.

This had Maedhros laughing. But his laughter soon died down, and he looked serious once more “cousin?” Maedhros ran a long finger along the brim of his cup, “once you are well” he looked up at Fingon, who just sat in the rocking chair and watched him “will you… leave?” this was very hard for him to admit, that he had taken the wrong decision himself, and that he deep in his heart wanted nothing more than for Fingon to stay. Be they cursed or not.

“If you want me to” Fingon whispered, a little smile tugged in the corner of his mouth, seeing Maedhros sitting there looking up at him, it made him look hundreds of years younger, and Fingon had never been able to resist this freckled face with the large green eyes. “Will you send me from your side a second time?” he said trying to hide the bitterness in his heart, which had his voice drip with sorrow.

“No” Maedhros whispered looking down in his drink again. “Some day I hope you forgive me for the wrong I did you”

“What is this?” Fingon said in a teasing tone, “is this the former high king, eldest son of Fëanor begging for forgiveness?”

Maedhros just nodded, not catching on to the teasing tone.

“Oh Maitimo” Fingon said sliding from the chair landing on his knees on the floor, in front of Maedhros. “You were afraid; you were broken in soul and body. I know this now” looking at Maedhros’ eyes who swam with tears, “I know what you did for me, Pitya told me. And love once more bloomed in my heart. I shall never love anyone as I love you” Fingon bit his lip, waiting for Maedhros’ answer, afraid to be dismissed once more. The scars of the first time had never really healed.

“Fingon” Maedhros whispered, leaving his cup on the floor, taking Fingon’s and in his. “You must understand, I shall never heal. I will always carry” he took a deep sigh, finally looking Fingon in the eyes “what they did to me, with me” he whispered

“I shall not claim to know your pain, but I wish you would let me ease it for you” Fingon said softly, placing his hand on top of Maedhros’

“I lost all” the red haired elf whispered “my family, my title, and my love” he smiled sadly as he looked up upon his cousin “I am nothing anymore, but a shadow of the elf you loved”

“Don’t say that,” Fingon whispered.

Not thinking Maedhros lifted his arm stump to run his hand through Fingon’s black hair. He smiled sadly as he realised his own mistake and let his arm fall to his lap again “I can never be the lover you once knew, my heart” he said looking away again, getting uncomfortable. “But that don’t mean you do not have my love”

Fingon caressed his own cheek with Maedhros’ left hand. “Maitimo” he whispered “your love always both thrilled and frightened me” entwining his fingers with his cousins he leaned forward “I am frightened no more”

Without thinking Maedhros leaned forward too, meeting Fingon’s soft lips. “I am” Maedhros whispered, “I am scared out of my mind” feeling Fingon’s lips curl up in a little smile,

“Maitimo?” Fingon whispered. “Do you promise to never leave me behind again? I need you to be honest with me”

“I would promise you this, and more. But there is no reason for you to believe me” Maitimo smiled sadly “that is the brutal truth”

“You rejected our word once before, true” Fingon said, grabbing the chain around his neck, pulling the fragile silver chain, breaking it with a snap, opening his hand, he revealed two silver rings “I believe one of these are yours” he said, smiling a little timid smile “take it, and I shall never in my life doubt you once again” Reaching out Maedhros’ hand hovered for a minute over the rings, trying to make up his mind; he couldn’t forget that he had sent this across Beleriand for Fingon, this very ring! He had left instructions in his letter for Fingon to give it to his wife, yet he had never done so, should he be flattered to be offered this trinket once more, or feel like a betrayer? “Maitimo?” the dark haired elf whispered.

Maedhros lifted his head and looked at Fingon, and shook his head “nay this is not mine to wear anymore” removing his hand from above Fingon’s open palm, he whispered “it never were”

Fingon felt oddly defeated, but he understood Maedhros, it was a fantasy, they would never be able to wear these rings. “Is it true then?” Fingon whispered, his eyes swelling with tears. “…You truly have abandoned our love”

Seeing Fingon’s tears fall, Maedhros felt tears of his own sting. And his heart ached, seeing his cousin unhappy, those eyes should twinkle with joy, and his mouth should smile and laugh, not look as though the weight of the world was on his shoulders. He wanted to say something, but his voice failed him.

Fingon wanted to get up and leave, flee Himring as if Morgoth himself were in his heels, but he didn’t he sat there as glued to the floor, looking at Maedhros that couldn’t even meet his eyes, and suddenly it felt like a bubble burst deep within him, and Fingon wept, for his love lost, for his home lost, for his wounded heart.

Maedhros’ mouth became a thin line, trying his hardest not to react; it would be wisest if he let Fingon go. But hearing the sobs rising from his cousin throat he suddenly pulled Fingon in for an embrace, waiting for his tears to subside. “Don’t cry,” he whispered.

“Why not?” Fingon sniffled, wiping his eyes. Clinging on to his cousin in a desperate attempt to undo reality.

“Because you are so very dear to my heart, and it pains me to see you despair and weep” Maedhros said, running his hand through the black hair of his cousin. “Our love was a dream, cousin. You and your son should journey back to your father, that would be the right thing to do”

“And once more leave my heart behind, locked within these cold halls” Fingon whispered.

“You should have fired your arrow back then,” Maedhros said softly, darkly.

Fingon didn’t answer he just shook his head.

“Would have saved you much heartache,” Maedhros whispered.

“Oh Maitimo, why do you hate yourself so much that you wont let anyone close” the dark haired elf whispered. “You are already more dead than alive”

These words broke through the wall Maedhros carefully had built around his heart. Tying to protect both him and Fingon. “Findekano” he whispered tenderly. “I love you, I shouldn’t, its beyond sense and reason, but by Eru, there is non I love more”

Fingon squeezed Maedhros tighter, “that is all you need, why wont you believe me?”

Maedhros sighed, and kissed Fingon on the top of his head. “We are in free fall towards our own doom, my love”

Fingon let go of Maedhros and sat up, taking his cousins head between his hands, forcing the red haired elf to look at him “then let us fall” looking into his cousins large green eyes he whispered “Maitimo, let me love you again”

Swallowing hard Maedhros closed his eyes, expecting to see images of his tormentors from within Angbard, but non came. Neither the taunting voice he had heard constantly. All gone, all he heard was Fingon’s breath, and all he felt was his beloveds warm hands on his cheeks. “Yes” he whispered, feeling as Fingon’s soft lips once more met his, no words needed. He knew they sealed their destinies with that kiss, maybe he lied to himself, and maybe they had sealed it already the first time they had kissed on those steep cliffs of Valinor.

TBC

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