Play Fair 03/? – All the small things

Authors; azzy & erestorjunkie
Title; Play Fair
Fandom; LoTr
Rating: M
WIP; 3/?
Pairrings: Haldir/Maedhros, Haldir/Echtelion,
Warnings: Language, crack, smut. AU (very much so!)
Summary; Middle eart is lost to the infection, and all the surviving elves are safe in Valinor. But since when have things ever really gone like you wanted them to, and how does ‘happily ever after’ work out for them?
AN; Yeah well so we just weren’t done with this craziness. This is the sequel to Play Dead, and we strongly suggest that you read that first, otherwise this will make even less sense than it does already.

Maedhros was squirming more in his chair than normal, it was not that he was bored, but his new tattoo was sore and it was bothered by the waistband of his pants. And eventually Maeglin was fed up with it, and put down his pen and just glared at Maedhros. “What?” He growled.

“What, what?” Maedhros asked back trying to look innocent.

“Could you at least pretend to be interested? You suggested this, you know.” Maeglin said drily.

“It’s not that.” Maedhros smiled embarrassed, “It’s… just…” He stood up and grabbed the hem of his pants.

“I don’t think…” Maeglin hurried to argue.

Maedhros pulled down a little to show off the tattoo swollen and fresh under his hip bone. “I had it done yesterday.”

Maeglin leaned in against his better judgment and stared at the tattoo, “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” He read, and then looked up at Maedhros with a serious expression, “You really mean that?”

“Sure do.” Maedhros smiled boyish, and was about to pull the hem up again, when Maeglin held up his hand, “Wait, turn around.”

Maedhros turned around as he was asked, and Maeglin stared at the tattoo across the small of Maedhros’ back, ‘Family above all else’ it said, Maedhros looked over his shoulder at Maeglin that read his tattoos, “Yo, you want me to lose the shirt? I’m sure I have one that said ‘Fingon has a huge slong’ too.” He grinned.

Maeglin sat back in his chair, and Maedhros sat down too studying his dark friend, “It’s not true though, it doesn’t say that he has a huge cock, because that would be lying and my tattoos never lie.”

Maeglin laughed despite himself. “I could have lived happily without ever knowing that.” He knew he should not be encouraging Maedhros’ obnoxious behavior, but it was a funny thought.

“Oh please, you know you always wanted to know if Fingon was hung like horse.” Maedhros smirked and pulled his shirt up higher, showing more of the artwork covering his body.

“Impressive, but not why we are here,” Maeglin finally said stiffly. His suddenly cold tone made Maedhros look over his shoulder as he pulled his shirt back down. Maeglin was distinctly uncomfortable, and Maddy had a damn good idea why.

“Well, well, well, Darlin’ Maggie,” He slipped up behind his companion and ran his hand down the long pale neck. He thought Maeglin would jump out of his skin he moved so fast, and he really had not expected the blow to the center of his chest that nearly sent him sprawling. Maeglin was stronger than he had given him credit for.

“Do NOT touch me,” Maeglin sounded almost panicked.

Maedhros threw himself back into his chair and laughed until his sides hurt. “Dude, you need to get laid.” He continued to laugh as Maeglin turned every shade of red possible. “Chill out and sit down,” Maddy finally almost caught his breath. “You have some serious private-space issues, don’t you?”

“Excuse me,” Maeglin was back to being stiff and formal. “I do not have ‘issues’” he sneered. “You just have no respect for other people’s boundaries.”

“Some people just have too many boundaries.” Maedhros insisted. Maeglin gave a grunt that may have been agreement. Not what Maedhros expected. “You are going to have to explain that.” He told the elf sitting next to him. Maeglin tried to pretend that this conversation was not happening, and focused on his task of making out a worksheet for Maedhros to practice writing with his left hand.

“Cut it out,’ Maedhros whined. “You can’t ignore me forever, just tell me what you meant by that, and I will drop it, I swear.”

Maeglin looked at him from out of the corner of his eye and seemed to think about it. “You are lying,” he finally said very firmly. ‘However, I was simply thinking that you never met my father if you think I have boundary issues.” Maedhros waited. He knew when to just be quiet and let the silence work for him. Finally Maeglin fell for it and started to speak again. “I really have no idea what my mother saw in him. He was completely mad on the best days.”

Maedhros killed whatever snappy comments that formed in his head, he could tell that Maeglin was struggling with the words, well not the words as much as the conversation and what it was turning into. “I have never met him.” Maedhros said seriously, not even a hint of a smile. “Your mama on the other hand, she was…” He paused and read Maeglin’s face again, he had been right, the other elf looked guarded – he was a mama’s boy! – “Is…” He corrected himself, “She is a bad ass chick.” He smiled softly and leaned back in his chair, holding up his arm stump, and pointed on a long gnarly scar on the underside of his arm, running along with the upper arm muscle. “This is her handy-work.”

“You’re lying.” Maeglin said again, but didn’t sound as convinced as he’d like.

“No.” Maedhros said in all honesty, “Do you think I -like- to admit that my cousin tore up my sword arm?” He shrugged and eased his arm back in his lap. “That will teach me not to pour a bucket of cold water on her and her date.” He grinned at the memory, “Caranthir, Fingon and Aegnor got away, I didn’t… Well I had to jump down from the roof of the hen-house and everything… so… ”

“She dated?” Maeglin blinked surprised.

“Of course she did.” Maedhros said with a smile, “She was an extraordinary beauty, and a better swordsman than any of us. Even I could see that.” He looked up into the lamp over their heads, “I think Caranthir had a crush on her once, or maybe it was Celegorm, don’t remember anymore. But they got over it.” His voice dropped to a sad mumble that Maeglin had a hard time hearing, “The law dictates that no elves of Valinor should…” He smiled an odd smile and spoke in a normal tone as his gaze returned to Maeglin, “It would have been some inbred retard offspring anyway…” He bit his lip realizing his mistake. “No offense.” – In an attempt to take the bite out of that comment, he lifted his shirt again, and pointed at the left side of his chest, under a dragon’s head, it said ‘Anger cannot be dishonest’ and then there was the sign for eternity and the name Fingon in a fine calligraphy, now almost ruined by scars. Maedhros let down his sweater again and even had the decency to blush slightly, “I can relate.”

Maeglin just stared at Maedhros, “Does it still hurt?” he asked, not sure why he asked that.

“Not really,” Maedhros said, “Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I had stayed at his side… And not gone with my father.” A haunted expression crossed Maedhros’ face, “I would have, you know – but my father insisted.”

“It is not worth it to wonder what might have been.” Maeglin said softly, “You will drive yourself mad.”

Maedhros nodded. “I know.”

“What…” Maeglin paused, and frowned, “What did your father do?”

“What do you mean?” Maedhros asked.

“You said he insisted, so I figured that you hesitated.” Maeglin asked in a childish tone.

“Yeah,” Maedhros ran his hand through his short unruly hair. “He slapped me and told me to grow the fuck up. And then he hauled me off to the ship, and I didn’t protest as much as I should have.” He took a deep breath, rubbing his neck nervously, “He was furious.” When Maeglin didn’t say anything, just listened – Maedhros continued in a near whisper, “I got in a fist-fight with him on the beach. I think my brothers might have saved my ass when they broke it up.”

“You hit back?” Maeglin asked softly.

“Yeah,” Maedhros nodded slightly, “That one time I did.”

Maeglin made soft humming sound and he thought about the revelation. Even Maedhros had been unable to stand up to his father. Oddly, this gave him some comfort, he spent a lot of time wondering why he had been unable to stop his own father.

He considered telling Maedhros this, almost opened his mouth to say it when Maddy started speaking again.

“Your mom ever come by,” Maedhros almost managed to sound casual, but something about the sideways glance made Maeglin suspicious. He continued to write. “Sometimes,” he admitted. “Yours?” He thought this was what having a real conversation was like. He had kind of forgotten. In truth his mother rarely came by, it pained her to see her only child in shackles at a wobbly wooden table. He understood. Sort of.

“Any friends?” The sly sound in the red-heads voice was NOT his imagination.

“No,” Maeglin was more reluctant to answer now. “And before you ask, no I do not see my father.”

“I would never dream of asking that,” Maedhros could barely contain his grin. “I was more curious if Idril ever stopped by. The conjugal suite is really something.” Finally he got a reaction from the cold elf next to him.

Maeglin moved so fast, Maedhros was actually surprised. He shoved Maddy back so hard the chair tipped and both elves ended up sprawled on the floor. Maeglin’s face was inches from Maedhros’ now and the look of mad rage in the dark eyes made Maedhros wonder if he had made a mistake. This was the second time that day the dark haired elf had surprised him. It was an uncomfortable feeling.

“Yo, dude! Chill!” Maedhros got his left arm between them, and started to push. “No need to go bat fuck, I was just jackin’ with ya!” IT was enough to get Maeglin to realize what he just done, and embarrassed, he scrambled to his feet. His pale cheeks burned red as he fumbled with his pens and paper on the table.

“I think we are done today.” Maeglin said in a shaky voice.

Maedhros sat up and ran his hand through his hair again. “Just sit down, we still have an hour, I know I, for one, do not want to go back to that little cell any sooner than I have to.”

“This was a mistake,” Maeglin insisted. “I can give you the sheets and you can practice on your own. I will even make more if someone will bring them to you.” He was refusing to look at Maedhros.

“No,” Maedhros stood and placed his hand on the sheets Maeglin was trying so ineffectually to pick up. “We will sit here like civilized elves and have a lesson.”

Maeglin looked up and caught Maddy’s eye. “Are you mad? Civilized? Neither of us could be considered civilized by any stretch of the imagination.”

This struck Maedhros as funny and he laughed so loudly the sound echoed around the library making Ecthelion look up from his books at the far end of the room. “You may have a point,” he finally managed to get out between fits of giggles.

Maeglin just stood there, puzzled by his companion’s behavior.

“You are mad,” he finally said quietly. “Completely mad.”

“Yup,” Maddy agreed and picked up his chair from the floor and turned it around so he could rest his arms on the back. “That would sum it up. What is your excuse?”

“Excuse me?” Was Maeglin’s response.

“Your excuse for being like that? I’m mad, what’s your major malfunction?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Maeglin was back to being icy and in control. “You simply manage to push everyone’s buttons. I doubt even the Valar could keep calm around you for long.” He held the green eyes of Feanor’s oldest son. “You could make anyone lose control.”

Maedhros sat up straighter and grinned. “You think so?” he asked eagerly. “That’s a damn good accomplishment.”

“See!” Maeglin insisted. “That is what I am talking about, you are annoying, obnoxious, and rude, and then have the nerve to be proud of it.”

“Hey,” Maedhros tried to sound wounded. “Everyone needs a hobby, you can only wank so much without getting a hand cramp.”

Maeglin gave up. “I thought living with my obsessive compulsive father was bad, I couldn’t imagine being around you much more.”

“Oh, so you come by it honestly.” Maddy raised an eyebrow as if he was asking a question he really had wanted to know the answer to. “Here I thought you were just OCD because you were going nuts stuck in your little room.”

“I am not OCD,” Maeglin said firmly, then froze. He had just been trying to straighten the edges of the paper so they all lines up perfectly and the pens were all laid out in a perfectly straight row. “Damn it.” He muttered.

~*~

“Damn it, Haldir,” Orophin shouted as he tossed something onto the table. To Elladan it looked like a shirt, nothing to get worked up over. Haldir gave an uncharacteristic flinch as his brother stormed around the kitchen. “You can’t even do laundry right, I need that shirt today, you fuck wit.” In his haste, or anger, the younger brother knocked over a canister with sugar, spilling it across the counter.

“You pig,” Orophin sneered. “Wash that shirt. I need it this afternoon.” He grabbed something out of the cabinet and left the kitchen munching on it.

Haldir sighed and picked up the shirt from the table, “Looks like he may be in a bad mood today,” he said neutral tone. “Maybe he has a job interview.” A little spark of hope sounded.

“He is always in a bad mood, Haldir,” Elladan sighed and moved around Haldir to try to help clean up the sugar. “I have never been over here when he wasn’t pissed off about something, and that shirt isn’t one you would were to an interview, it is something you wear to a bar.”

“And a bar is the only place you will find him after noon. Everyone in town knows he’s not worth the space he takes up and he treats you like a servant, or worse.”

Haldir knew his friend was right, but he refused to admit it. Orophin had so issues, but they were legitimate. The younger brother frequently reminded him how he had failed him as a child, how he had allowed their Mother’s lovers to hurt him. Haldir never pointed out that there were many times where it would have been worse, but Haldir let them hurt him instead. He would hide Orophin under a bed or in a closet until the sadistic bastards were done and gone. Orophin never remembered that.

Elladan had a lot more to say on the subject, but a knock at the kitchen door interrupted him. A messenger quickly handed him a sealed envelope before hurrying away. Haldir came out of the washroom, having started a load of laundry.

“Who was that?” he asked a puzzled looking Elladan.

“He didn’t say, just left this for you,” he handed the envelope to Haldir. The former marchwarden’s name was clearly written on the outside in a fine flowing script.

“The seal is from the prison,” Haldir felt a knot of dread in his stomach. “What could that mean?” He was obviously worried by the unexpected missive. “Maddy doesn’t write with his left hand, so it isn’t from him.”

He still had not even opened the letter when a raging Orophin came storming into the room like a one man hurricane. “What the fuck are you doing?” He shouted as he violently stopped the washing machine. “I am trying to take a shower here!”
“You wanted the shirt washed, Orophin,” Haldir reminded him, trying to stay calm.

“Moron, you have hands.” Orophin stormed out of the room again, slamming the bathroom door and turning the water back on.

“Charming,” was all Elladan could say.

“Leave it alone,” Haldir warned, setting the letter on the counter to fetch the shirt from the now stopped machine. He really did not like washing clothes by hand now that he had a machine, but it looked like that was the only thing Orophin was going to accept.

Elladan pulled the shirt from Haldir’s hands and handed the letter back to him. “Just open it and see what it is about.” He demanded. “Forget about the shirt, it will still be there after you read the letter.”

Haldir was almost as curious about the letter as he was afraid. “Sure. Right. Of course.” He needed to hear his own voice. What if it was something bad? What if something had happened to Maedhros? What if it had nothing to do with that at all?

Carefully, Haldir broke the seal on the letter and peeled it open. Inside was a letter written in the most amazing hand. This was someone who had spent a lot of time perfecting their lettering. Even Erestor did not write this well, and he had the prettiest calligraphy Haldir had ever seen before today.

It was beautiful, and also completely unreadable. The letter had been written in a very old form of Quenyan, and Haldir had no idea what it said. The only thing he could read was the horrible scrawl at the bottom. That was Maedhros name, he was almost certain of it.

He held it out to Elladan. “Can you read this?” Elrond’s son took the letter and looked at it carefully, then shook his head. “I’m afraid not,” he finally admitted. “This is not something I ever studied.”

Haldir looked crushed. He was now desperate to know what it said, not that he knew it was from Maddy. “I wish Erestor was here, he would be able to tell me what it said.” Haldir said sadly. He really did miss his old friend, but there had been no word from him, though he had heard rumors that he had been released from the Halls of Waiting. “Could your father read it?” He asked hopefully.

“I am sure he could, but he is so busy with his new clinic, I wouldn’t want to bother him.” He seemed to think about the question for a moment. “I know!” Elladan crowed. “Take it to the librarian at the Halls. He is great with all the obscure stuff.”

Haldir looked hopeful. “You think he would?”

Elladan gave a huge grin. “For you, I am sure of it.”

Haldir had forgotten all about Orophin’s shirt, he carefully folded the letter back and grabbed a jacket. “Let yourself out,” He called back over his shoulder to Elladan.

Elladan actually laughed as Haldir trotted down the drive, heading toward the Halls of Waiting and the Library it now held. He almost wished he could be there to see it.

Absently, he tossed the shirt onto the table and let himself out het back door. Orophin could do his own damn laundry as far as he was concerned.

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