Play Fair 8/? – Poetry totally fucking works.

Authors; azzy & erestorjunkie
Title; Play Fair.
Fandom; LoTr
Rating: M
WIP; 8/?
Pairrings: Haldir/Maedhros, Haldir/Echtelion,
Warnings: Language, crack, smut. AU (very much so!)

It’s a nice day to start again (come on)

It’s a nice day for a white wedding

It’s a nice day to start again.

There is nothin’ fair in this world

There is nothin’ safe in this world

And there’s nothin’ sure in this world

And there’s nothin’ pure in this world

Look for something left in this world

Start again,

-Billy Idol.

Why were weddings so dull, Haldir wondered as he half listened to the self-important elf standing on the platform in front of the new couple. It was not that he was not happy for Elrohir, he was, and he even thought his bride was really sweet, if a bit naïve. He was still not sure how an elleth that blushed at the mention of sex, or “getting’ it on” as Glorfindel so ineloquently put it at dinner last night, could have caught and held the interest of one of Elrond’s son’s. To say they were more rough and tumble and less refined was only to keep the eye brows of doom from making an appearance.

He scanned the crowd. It looked like half the population of Tirion was here. Maybe it was, this was the son of Elrond, grandson, of Galadriel, great grandson of-

Thank the Valar, he did not have to try to remember Elrohir’s entire pedigree in order to stay awake. The ceremony was finally over, Elrohir and his Bride had turned to face the crowd and placed a chaste kiss on each other’s lips before making their way back out of the enormous hall. Now all Haldir had to do was find the bar and try to forget Erestor was bat shit insane, his boyfriend was no better, and in prison to boot, and Elly was…What was Elly exactly?

He needed that drink before he was going to think about that at all.

He let the crowd carry him out of the hall and into the cool evening air. He had not even noticed how stuffy it was in there until he was outside. The trees had been strung with tiny white lights that glittered and sparkled like electric dew drops. Tables were set with plats of fish and meats, sweets and breads, and every kind of fruit you could think of, some he was almost certain did not grown here. It all looked great, but he just wanted to find the bar. No, needed to find the bar.

Not that it was hard to find, in the end, he just followed the sound of Glorfindel’s voice. The large blond elf was happily regaling a crowd too polite to run away about some mess or another he had managed to get himself into. It looked like Haldir was going to be able to get his beer and slip away unnoticed when he felt a hot heavy hand on his shoulder, and smelled breath that was as much wine as air.

“Hey, Haldir, where are you off to so fast, I was just about to tell these nice folks about the time that Elrohir and I went skinny dipping in the river and the water snake bit him on the-“ Haldir quickly covered Glorfindel’s mouth with his hand and tried to find the words to apologize to the poor souls who almost heard that horrible tale yet again. They did not hesitate, as soon as Glorfindel’s mouth was covered they all managed to melt away like shadows.

“Damn it, Glorfindel, how early did you start drinking?”

“You are just jealous because you did not think of it first.” Glorfindel pulled away and looked blearily around him, trying to remember what he had been doing before Haldir decided to man handle him like that. “So Haldir, been thinking of .. uhm stuff” Glorfindel hummed jovially, hauling Haldir with him towards the bar.

“You don’t say.” Haldir sighed, but sorta relieved he finally found the goddamn bar, maybe in a drink or ten, Glorfindel would start making sense.

“From where I’m standing, you downgraded a bit-“ Glorfindel laughed “A lot actually.”

“Excuse me?” Haldir asked, hoping Glorfindel wasn’t talking about what he thought he was talking about.

“From Maedhros to.. yeah well, Elly.” Glorfindel clicked his tongue, and squinted his eyes suspiciously, “Seriously, somethings gotta give.”

“I didn’t downgrade!” Haldir huffed offended, “How can you even say that? I thought Etchelion was your friend.”

“Come now Haldir..” Glorfindel nudged Haldir, “You know me.. I got around.”

“understatement of the millenia.” Haldir mumbled under his breath.

“And I never once felt like sticking my cock in Elly.” Glorfindel shrugged, “Sure I’ve been tempted out of boredom, but…” Glorfindel leaned in too close, wrapping his arm a little too tight around Haldir’s waist. “Poetry? Really? Is that what gets you all hot and bothered?”

“I have not had enough beer for this, Glorfindel.” Haldir tried to pry the larger elf’s arm off his waist. “What is your problem?”

“Blah, blah, blah.” Glorfindel shook his head, “Then drink faster.” He swallowed his own drink in one go, “You never did answer my question; Does poetry do it for you?” Glorfindel chuckled genuinely amused and burped. “Cause I’m sure I know a haiku or two.”

“How much I’ve had to drink is really not the point, but how much you have had may be.” He was still trying to wiggle out of Glorfindel’s grap. “Are you seriously trying to get me to sleep with you?”

“Nah, not seriously, seriously…” Glorfindel shrugged as much as his position would let him. “Elly might be as exciting as watching paint dry, but I wouldn’t outright steal his man, unless..” He smiled and snatched a drink from a patron, “Unless that man wanted to be stolen, I would consider it my duty to a fellow elf to aid him out of the misery.”

Haldir couldn’t think of anything to say to that, he just grabbed the purloined drink and tossed it back before Glorfindel could get it back. This was not going well at all.

“ Which one should I do? Wax my chest or perm my hair. Can’t wait to decide.” Glorfindel bellowed, toasting with the sky with an empty hand, shaking Haldir. “Dude, it’s a haiku.” He grinned, “I’m good, no?”

“What does Erestor see in you? He is sitting at my house going bat shit nuts because you have a boyfriend that isn’t him, but here you are hitting on me.” He was getting more than a little annoyed now. He was not used to being gropped and dragged around like this.

“My charming personality, and I’m hung like a pony.” Glorfindel finally let go of Haldir and laughed uncontrollably. “I do believe that you and the librarian are a match made in.. whatever, cause damn.”

Haldir could not decide which to react to first, the pony comment, being let loose, or the insult. Spying an opening at the bar, he decided his new found freedom would at least earn him a buzz and he slipped into the space before it got filled by someone less desperate for alcohol, calling over his shoulder, “The last pony I met was a pain in the ass too.”

Echtelion had been standing at the outskirts of the bar, listening to Elrond’s mindnumbingly boring recantation of Middleearth flora and fauna, and how facinating it would be to return in a millenia or two to observe and collect the unspoiled habitat. He heard Glorfindel laugh that obnoxious laugh of his long before he saw him, or Haldir. He looked over at the Galadhrim at the bar, and then looked back at Elrond, pretending to be intersted, and then back at Haldir, was he talking to that elf besides him? Surely he wouldn’t.. Echtelion stopped his train of throught before it ran completely off track, Haldir was allowed to make friends at a wedding reception, and just becase he sent him a goddamn book, which he by the way had around 50 copies off in his closet, did not mean they were an item, or exclusive.. or anything really. Echtelion sighed and looked back at Elrond which had now started to talk about microbes in water.. For a moment Echtelion wondered if any elf had ever flat out died from boredom while listening to the halfelf for extended periods of time.

“Grow a pair man,” Ellanda nudged Echtelion, “Don’t just stand there and oogle him. It’s just pitiful.”

“EXcuse me?” Echtelion mumbled, now completely focused on the single twin. “I didn’t look anywhere, and if I were to look it would absolutely not be at the bar, because you see once I had a horrible drink at another wedding, well maybe it wasn’t a wedding, but the drink was still terrible – and believe you me I was …”

“Stop!” Elladan exclaimed loudly, so loud that even Elrond shut up for a moment.

“Just go there, he ain’t all that hard to get to know, just.. you know, don’t do that babble thing too much, m’kay?” Elladan placed a hand on Echtelion’s shoulder. “You look like a million, like an elf from a fucking fairytale right. So go talk to him, and do get a drink and unwind some, if you can.”

Echtelion looked at Elladan, over at Haldir and back at Elladan, “You don’t understand, man. I sent him poetry.” He looked down at his feet ashamed of how lame it sounded when he said it out loud.

“It can’t be that bad.. He’ll live, and if not he can always use it to roast marshmellows.” Elladan shrugged.

“Alright, alright..” Echtelion took a deep breath. “But I was still not looking at him.”

“Sure you weren’t.” Elladan ushered Echtelion away, towards the bar. “go..”

For a split second Echtelion thought he might panic, but in the last moment he told himself, that if he could face down a balrog with an oversized toothpick, he could deal with Haldir post-poetry. “Hey there,” He said softly squeezing in next to Haldir, “Fancy seeing you here, well not that I didn’t expect to see you here, but it’s a respectful’ish greeting when you really don’t know what else to say, and I don’t.. is it really that obvious that I dont? Oh Valar this is not how I wanted to say hi, but it looks like I already.. “ He stopped, and waved at the bar personel, “Can I have what he’s having?”

Haldir tried to hide a grin and un-manly sounding giggle behind his glass, but had to give up to hold it out to the bartender to get a refill. he was starting to feel pleasantly lightheaded and now with Elly here, surely glorfindel would give up.

“Hey there, yourself.” He managed to finally get out, raising his newly filled glass to Elly, and waiting for the poor clueless bastard to catch on. When the dark haired elf failed to figure out what Haldir was doing, he simply dropped his glass and carefully tinked it against Elly’s before taking a large swallow of it. Why was his complete and utter lack of charm so damned charming?

“Did.. ehm, did Glorfindel bug you much?” Echtelion asked and then laughed a little at himself, “Of course he did, he’s Glorfindel.” He took a deep breath and pulled from a pool of alchol fuelled courage he wasn’t even aware he had, or well at least he wasn’t aware that he had had that many drinks already. “What I really meant to say was, ehm.. sorry bout the poetry book.” He blushed lightly in spite of himself, “But only if you didn’t like it, in case you liked it, then.. then I don’t know what to say, other than – uhm, yeah.. Look could we start this conversation over, like completely over? from the ‘Hi’ part? And maybe have a new drink, I need a new drink.”

“A new drink it is!” Haldir went to hold his glass out to the bartender again but found he was a little more drunk than he thought and managed to throw the glass down onto the bar instead. For some reason this struck him as endlessly hilarious and he put his head down on the bar and started to laugh until he felt tears come to his eyes. “Or maybe you should have another drink, I may have had too many.” He continued to giggle and wipe at his eyes while the bartender looked at him warily. “Don’t worry, man,” Haldir assured him. “I’m done, but my friend here needs at least 2 more drinks.”

Echtelion took the drinks, and turned with his back against the bar, looking at the party. “You seem in a good mood,” He said with a little smile, “You should go dance.” He nodded towards the dancing elves. “I’ll hold your spot for you.”

Haldir blinked and thought for a moment, trying to let the words sort themselves out in his brain. Finally he figured out what Elly meant and snorted.

“Me? Dance? You must be kidding, I am the world dancer in the history of the first born.” He gestured to Elly to hurry and drink faster. “I might consider it if you were to dance with me.” He immediately felt a little embarrassed. he wasn’t sure what he would say if Echtelion turned him down. He watched as Elly downed first one, then the other drink quickly.

“Really?” Echtelion’s voice sounded tiny and insecure even in his own ears. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was intruding on someone else’s turf, like it should be Maedhros in all his fiery person taking Haldir out dancing, Elly felt a little pang of guilt knowing that there was probably nothing Maedhros rather would, than to be right here in his shoes. One mans trash is another mans treasure, he thought to himself, silently berating himself that he just compared Haldir to trash. He squared his shoulders and nodded, “Alright, let’s go.” He held out his hand for Haldir to take it, terribly aware of how awkward it would be if the galadhrim didn’t.

Haldir felt a big grin on his face that just got bigger when he spotted Glorfindel’s look of surprise as he watched them walk to the dance floor. It would have been worth it even if Elly wasn’t so damn adorable just to see the big blond oaf put in his place. He slipped his fingers through Elly’s as they pushed their way onto the dance floor. It was surprisingly crowded for this early in the evening. Maybe more people had the same idea as Glorfindel had had started the celebration before they even left the house.

He was surprised at how much Elly’s hands were like his. he had thought that after so many years as a meek and quiet librarian that Echtelion would have much softer hands. “Damn, who have you been working out with?” he blurted out. “I mean your hands are certainly not what I would have expected from a book worm.” Now he knew how Elly felt. Why would the words not stop? “Not that I am complaining, but…” He forced himself to shut up before he made it worse.

“You had expectations to my hands?” Echtelion blurted, but caught himself before he let out a litany of stupid. “Actually,” He said leaning in so close his lips brushed Haldir’s ear, “I haven’t been out of the halls that long.”

“Really?” Haldir asked, deciding that he liked talking and dancing. Well he liked how close Echtelion was.

“Yeah.” Echtelion said, “Haven’t been here for more than a couple of decades, not much longer than you.” He wrapped his arms around Haldir’s neck casually, “Long story, and complicated burns.” He smiled against Haldir’s ear, “Balrogs are serious business. They burn your feä along with your body.” Echtelion felt Haldir’s hands on his hips and couldn’t hide a huge grin, “Suppose they threw me a pity-job so I wouldn’t feel so different after so long.”

Haldir was not sure how to feel about what Elly was telling him. Should he feel bad for bringing it up? He really could not focus with Elly’s lips so close to his ear. He felt himself shiver. He knew he needed to say something sympathetic, normally he was good at this kind of thing, but all he wanted to do right now was see what Elly would do if he were to actually kiss him. He turned his face, not very subtly, hoping Elly didn’t pull away.

Echtelion fell uncharacteristically silent, staring cross-eyed at Haldir’s lips. If he did this there was no return, not for him. The icy dread in the pit of his stomach almost made him turn his head, or push away with some stupid excuse, and he should, everything inside him told him that he should. Haldir was not his, and how could he listen to the sad tone of Maedhros every time the talk fell on his last trip to middle earth? Not that it was the topic they debated the most, Maddy and Maeglin, but still – Echtelion could hear the sadness and regret. Another truth was that Maedhros was never getting out of there, and had set Haldir free of whatever they had promised each other, so why shouldn’t he kiss him? There was absolutely no excuse. But his body didn’t quite communicate with his brain, and what he had intended of being a kiss became, “But they can all see… Sure you wanna do that here?”

Haldir did his best to focus his eyes and not sigh. “You talk too much, you know that?” This time he reached up and held Elly face in his hands before leaning back in. If he was rejected this time he would just have to accept it. it was possible that Elly was actually not interested and was just trying to find a way out of this. What if he was being a pain in the ass like Glorfindel, he thought of the wandering hand and lewd looks the blond had given him earlier. Too late now he thought.

Echtelion closed his eyes, blushing to the roots as he kissed Haldir’s soft lips. He was painfully aware of every single elf in the party, which made his skin squirm.

Haldir stepped back slightly, grinning like fool, “Was that so bad?” he asked the furiously blushing Echtelion. “Is it that bad that someone saw you?”

Echtelion just smiled and squeezed Haldir’s arm gently, how the hell could he explain that he didn’t like being out in a bunch of nosy-ass elves, conducting his personal life. And Glorfindel, Ai! He’d never hear the end. “No?” He mumbled, sounding less than convinced. “But next time could we have less relatives about?”

Haldir almost shouted out he was so excited, there would be a next time!

“Of course,” he agreed, still grinning. “There can be as few as you want next time.” That sounded obscene ever to him, but he didn’t care. Elly had not rejected him, that was something. His poor absurd Elly.

“Now shut up and let’s dance.”

-*-

Maedhros had was somewhere between worried and exited when he had been called to the Wardens office instead of his weekly meeting with Maeglin. Was his brothers in trouble? Was Haldir okay? He was so deep in thought that he didn’t notice the elves staring at him, and his chains clanging with every step.

“Maedhros.” Namo said with a wide smile, “My favorite Fëanorian.” He eyed Maedhros, “Maybe I shouldn’t play favorites, but it’s sorta hard given how many years you and I have known each other.”

“Dad was here longer.” Maedhros just said drily.

“True,” Namo admitted and offered Maedhros a cigarette, “But he was never one for chatting, unlike you.”

Maedhros walked over to the big panorama window like always, looking down at Tirion while inhaling deeply. “What’s with the festive lights?”

“Seems like one of Elronds sons got married.”

“Elladan?” Maedhros asked and then shook his head, “Nah it has to be the other one.”

“Elrohir I believe his name is.” Namo said with a raised brow.

“Oh yeah, well good to see he moved on from that crazy ass woodelf.” Maedhros shrugged. “He was a piece of fucking work if I ever saw one.”

Namo shrugged, “Legolas has issues.”

“You don’t say.” Maedhros mumbled, looking down at the bright colored lanterns, it made him more sad than he wanted to admit, it made him want to be out there, dancing, drinking, celebrating his grandson. It had been so long since he had celebrated anything. Funny how even that short while he was allowed out into middleearth, had just reminded him of how much he missed life, a real life, not this just existing. “I’m sure you didn’t call me here to look at pretty lights.”

“No I didn’t.” Namo folded his hands under his chin. “I wanted to hear your opinion on something.”

“What?” MAedhros tore his gaze away from the city below and stared wide eyed at Namo, “Is this a trick question? Since when did any of the Valar care what anyone thought about anything? I call bullshit.”

“No bullshit,” Namo said, “I seriously need your opinion.”

Maedhros felt an insane laughter bubble inside, but just nodded, “Fire away.”

“So Erenion is still high king, mostly because he is a popular fella, yanno one of the people.” Namo said.

“Erenion?”

“Yep.” Namo said.

“Fingon’s, Erenion?”

“Did I stutter?” Namo said drily.

“No matter, get to the point.” Maedhros tried desperately to wrap his head around that tiny elfling being high king. Alright so he might not have been up to date on elf politics lately.

“He has a thing for men.”

Maedhros roared with laughter, “Don’t we all?”

“Get your mind out of the gutter, not like that.” Namo couldn’t resist a tiny smile, “I mean men, as humans, mortals.”

“And exactly what the fuck has that to do with me? Fingon’s little snotty brat is a manlover so what? So was Luthién.” Maedhros returned his gaze to the city, straining his eyes to see little dots move, which he could only assume was elves.

“Reliable sources are whispering that he plan on rescuing the stranded trash from the Havens. As in bring them here, men, hobbits, dwarves alike.” Namo waved his hands in the air, “Give them refuge…”

“How dare he think that all are created equal.” Maedhros mumbled amused, “Still don’t see why it’s my problem.”

“That is besides the point… Let me phrase this differently. The true High King is not him, or you, or your dad… it’s Finwë. Do we agree?” Namo said softly.

This time Maedhros couldn’t keep his laughter stilled, “Politics man, always messing with ya.”

“Do we agree?”

“Nah, I don’t care who the fuck is high king. I say give the title to Oropher that crazy fucker… come to think of it, it prolly runs in his bloodline after all.” Maedhros turned and snatched the pack of cigarettes from Namo’s desk and shook out one more.

“You’d be a prince again.” Namo said cautiously.

“And what a swinging time that was.” Maedhros shrugged, “Sorry man, I don’t care for your political drama, and what good is a title when I am still locked in here.., So whatever you want the answer is no.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure.” Namo said with a cryptic grin. “But we can always talk more about it at a later time, just remember what I said here today.”

“Can I keep these?” Maedhros asked holding out the cigarettes with an indifferent expression.

“Sure.”

“Want me to send a belated present to your grandson?” Namo asked, throwing Maedhros completely off.

“What the hell for?”

“Try with common courtesy.” Namo said, “So you want me to send him something from you?”

“Like what?” Maedhros hovered in over the table, looking directly at Namo. “A prison issue postcard?”

“No a regular gift.” Namo said.

“No.” Maedhros said, “No point in reminding him, just let him go about his way.”

“I like you Maddy, and I have to point out that the martyr shit is getting old. You aren’t even trying to keep contact with –“

“How dare you?” Maedhros’ fist was balled up, knuckles bloodless.

“Alright, that does it.” Namo sighed, “I am going to assign you to a therapist.”

“Whatever rocks your boat mate.”

And with that Namo whirled his hand in the air, signaling the guards to escort Maedhros back to his cell again.

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