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I'll Be Yours If You'll Be Mine by NelyafinweFeanorion

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Author's Chapter Notes:

Super long chapter this time. And sorry-angst is creeping in. These guys are just magnets for it. 

A multitude of thanks/gratitude to cheekybeak for the amazing beta help on this chapter!

Artwork of Maedhros and Fingon in the AO3 version of this story. Chapters 1, 5, 12 and 16-check it out! It's lovely-by my friend from tumblr cinemairon.




 

They ended up at Taeglin's, because it was close and neither one of them really had any better ideas. It was a much quieter meal than any they had shared before, both periodically getting lost in their thoughts.

Finrod had been right, Fingon thought. Maedhros had put a lot of stock in his comments about how busy he was and he was now regretting every single complaint he had made about his coursework. He thought he had just been venting but it seemed that Maedhros had taken it as a signal not to press Fingon for time. That wasn't what he wanted at all but how was he going to correct that impression?

Maedhros, however, was completely confused. He realized Fingon wanted more time with him, based on what he had said just now, but it seemed to contradict the fact that every time Maedhros asked him if he was free Fingon told him about all the work he had to do. Maedhros didn't want to pressure him for time. He couldn't help wanting more of it though and maybe that wasn't fair to Fingon right now.

Maedhros looked at him thoughtfully. Fingon had mentioned Maedhros coming over after dates. Was that how he wanted more time with him? Maglor might be right about that—maybe he was more upset about Maedhros turning him down than he had indicated. But that wasn't really a negotiable point. It was too risky to spend the night but maybe . . . maybe he could just go to his apartment for a little while sometime? Maedhros chewed his bottom lip. He would just have to make sure he didn't let himself fall asleep there.

He reached across the table and put his hand on Fingon's. As he had that first time at the coffee shop in Formenos, Fingon laced his fingers through Maedhros'.

"I'm sorry," Maedhros said.

"No, I'm the one who should apologize. To you and to Finrod too. I don't know why I snapped at him. Well, I do. I told you. I just hate anything that interferes with our time together," Fingon said. "I really can't wait for Winter Break."

"I'm sorry I'm out of town this weekend," Maedhros said.

"You shouldn't be. We both have commitments and plans that come up. I just hope we have more time once this semester is over."

"I intend to spend as much time as possible with you," Maedhros replied.

Fingon squeezed his fingers and gave him a tentative smile. "Well, we've had our first argument, I guess, and we survived it."

"It's definitely the first and even though I hope it's also the last, I know that's unrealistic," Maedhros said, looking thoughtful.

"Promise me this," Fingon said. "Keep doing what you did today—make me talk it out. I don't always do that and it ends up being a problem down the road."

Maedhros' forehead creased. "I do the same," he said slowly, his eyes clouded. "There are things I need to say but . . ."

"But what?"

"Nothing," Maedhros said, with a shake of his head. "I just meant I have a tendency to hold things in, not talk them out." It had been an opportunity to open up about the issue Maglor was hounding him about, but Maedhros just couldn't get himself to do it. He'd deal with it head-on if it came up again. He wasn't going to waste this time with Fingon on dreary subjects.

"You have to get back anytime in particular?" he asked Fingon, changing the subject.

"Not really. I have early class tomorrow and a few notes and schematics to review before then," Fingon replied. "I just need to make it an early night."

"What do you want to do for the rest of the afternoon then?" Maedhros asked.

"Just be with you."

Neither of them had felt like returning to Fingon's apartment after lunch. Maedhros briefly thought about driving out to Formenos. His brothers would both be out until dinnertime but they would waste an hour on the drive time there and back.

It was still too cold for the sculpture park. He didn't want to go to a movie. He just wanted to be somewhere with Fingon, preferably alone, but seeing as that wasn't an option he needed to think of something to do.

He found himself driving them to Sirion Mall. The parking lot was not as crowded as he expected, midweek likely being a slow time, even with the Christmas holiday a few weeks away.

"You done any Christmas shopping?" he asked Fingon.

"Actually none at all. I skipped out on the stores in Formenos last weekend to come to the bookstore, remember?" Fingon answered with a smile. It was back to his usual brilliant grin and Maedhros was grateful for that.

"I'm behind this year too," Maedhros said with a grimace. "Too many brothers to shop for," he explained.

They made their way through the mall, holding hands again. It had been a good idea to come here, Maedhros thought. It had lifted the mood and the seriousness of their conversation.

It was a few hours before they returned to the car, laden with bags.

"I should take you with me every time," Maedhros said. "You don't even know them all but you still had better ideas for my brothers than I did."

"Maybe it's because I don't know them," Fingon offered. "Blank slate so I can be more creative?" He moved closer to Maedhros and linked his arm, briefly resting his head on Maedhros' shoulder. "Thank you for doing this. I feel better now."

"Christmas spirit and all," Maedhros smiled. "Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men and such."

"Home?" he asked, as they reached the car.

"No, not yet," Fingon said. He sat in the passenger seat and bent down over his phone. He looked up as Maedhros started the Subaru.

"Where to?" Maedhros asked.

"Head over to Taniquetil."

Maedhros parked near the summit of Taniquetil hill. The sun was setting as they got out of the car and walked to the cathedral there, the city of Tirion spread out before them from this height. They were alone at the balustrade that circled the cathedral courtyard. The wind whipped Maedhros' hair and the chill came through his coat. He was not surprised they were the only visitors.

There must have been a reason Fingon wanted to come here. He stayed silent, leaning his elbows on the stone wall, shoulder to shoulder with Fingon. As the wind picked up Fingon gave a small shiver that vibrated through Maedhros, so he put his arm around him and pulled him close.

Fingon leaned into him and then looked up, his eyes so close they filled Maedhros' vision. He leaned down to kiss Fingon softly, all the frustration from earlier draining out of him with the contact. Fingon gently kissed him back, and then pulled away to lean on his shoulder again.

"Aren't you cold?" Maedhros questioned.

"I am. But I just wanted to be someplace quiet and peaceful, alone with you," Fingon replied. He straightened up and tugged on Maedhros' arm. "Come on. Let's go inside."

They walked into the cathedral and Maedhros was surprised to hear chamber music being played.

"They have concerts on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons," Fingon whispered to him. "My grandmother used to bring me here when I was little. She lived just down the hill." He pulled Maedhros closer to the music, choosing a bench near the back. There were a few people scattered among the seats, but not more than half a dozen.

"I was fairly lively as a kid," Fingon breathed, pulling him down a little so his words could reach him. His breath wafted through Maedhros' hair and he shivered as Fingon's lips touched his ear while he spoke. "Grandmother would bring me here for the concerts. It was about the only way she could get me to sit still for more than a few minutes." He took Maedhros' hand in his own, his fingers chilly as they had been by the riverside weeks ago. "I come here sometimes, when I need to think or when I just want to let everything go and empty my mind." He leaned his head on Maedhros' shoulder and looked at the musicians, his body relaxing into Maedhros' side.

The tranquility washed over Maedhros as well. The music was Baroque in style but he couldn't place the composition. Maglor would have known right away but Maedhros wasn't as familiar. Even he could tell that the acoustics were phenomenal for such a big, open space. He felt himself relax, his free hand unclenching and his head dropping to rest on Fingon's.

The music continued. It must have been at least a half hour before the concert was complete and the cathedral grew silent. Fingon made no move to leave and Maedhros was content to follow his lead so he stayed still, holding his hand.

Eventually Fingon lifted his head and turned to smile at him. "Thank you for coming here with me," he said. "I don't drive Grandmother crazy with my rambunctiousness when I visit her anymore so she hasn't brought me here in years. But I come alone, when I need to; I've never brought anyone with me before."

"Thank you for sharing this with me," Maedhros said. "I can see why you find it calming. The whole atmosphere is so peaceful up here, quiet in a way that's different. But when you add the music . . . "

"Exactly," Fingon agreed. "The music takes it to a different level." He stood up. "Ready?"

"I suppose so, but I can see why you come here." Maedhros reluctantly stood as well.

They held hands in the car, on the way back to Fingon's apartment. Maedhros parked and turned to Fingon. "I've got no plans for the rest of the evening," he said. "I know you need an early night but I'd love to take you to dinner or whatever you have time to do."

"I don't want to go anywhere," Fingon said. "I don't care if Finrod's still at home. Just come upstairs with me and we can hang out—we really haven't gotten to do that at all." He squeezed Maedhros' hand. "I can always make dinner if we get hungry."

They made their way to the apartment and found it empty. There was a note taped to the refrigerator. "Sorry for earlier. Out with Amarie. I'll be back at 9 so you know and won't be surprised again—Finrod."

Fingon bit his lip as he read the note. Finrod rarely left him notes—it was usually to report some faulty appliance or plumbing issue around the house. They had a vague idea of each other's schedules but had never had to be this specific before.

He really couldn't ask for a better roommate, Fingon thought, as he opened the refrigerator to look over their options for dinner later. Finrod cooked, he cleaned up after himself—well, most of the time- -and he had been a solid friend to Fingon for years. It was impossible to stay irritated with him for long. He found he really wasn't irritated with him anymore. He had been annoyed at being interrupted and had convinced himself that Finrod was going to say something stupid. But that really wasn't fair to Finrod, was it? He wouldn't have said anything, Fingon realized. Finrod knew how important this relationship was to him.

Maedhros leaned on the counter, watching Fingon, seeing he was lost in thought as he stared into the refrigerator. He looked at his watch—it was almost seven o'clock. Two hours before Finrod came home. Maedhros thought it would be best if he left before his return. It would likely be less awkward that way.

"Fascinating food choices?" Maedhros asked.

Fingon shut the refrigerator door and grimaced at Maedhros. "No, it's mostly just leftovers." He reached up to open a cabinet. "I can always make pasta."

"I'm really not hungry."

"Neither am I," Fingon admitted. Was it too much to suggest going to his room? Should he suggest watching television? Why was it suddenly awkward, Fingon wondered, now that they were finally alone.

Maedhros sensed it too. He could tell Fingon was trying to decide something, from the expression on his face. "Should we see what's on TV?" Maedhros suggested. "Or do you need to get your reading done?"

"No, I don't need to get my reading done now," Fingon assured him. "I can do that later." He took Maedhros' hand, decision made. "Let's see what's on TV."

They sat down on the sofa in the living room, side by side, Maedhros' arm soon finding its way around Fingon's shoulders. He flipped through the channels, his head resting comfortably on Maedhros' shoulder. They finally settled on a cooking show, with Maedhros providing insightful commentary as they watched.

"I'm not sure I should have offered to make you dinner," Fingon said. "I can't make anything but pasta and from the way you're talking, you seem to be an expert cook."

"On the job experience," Maedhros said, with a laugh. "Comes from being the oldest of seven." He smiled down at Fingon. "Both my parents are excellent cooks but with their work they rarely found the time. Six brothers who were always hungry meant I often had to make dinner for them before Mom and Dad even came home." He laughed again. "There were a lot of failed experiments before I got good at it."

"I'm pathetic," Fingon admitted. "Finrod usually cooks. He's really good. He doesn't always have the time to be too complex but he does like to try some unusual things. I'm happy to have clean up duty. If we relied on my cooking skills we'd be eating spaghetti with sauce from a jar every day. Or carry-out." He shook his head at Maedhros. "I can't believe I volunteered to cook you dinner."

Maedhros grinned and then sat up, turning towards Fingon, his eyes shining with excitement. "You're done with classes next Friday right?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"Come out to Formenos next weekend. We can spend the whole day together and I'll cook dinner for you. I haven't had a chance to be very creative recently. Tyelko and Maglor eat practically anything and my mom always sends food for us with the twins. I think she's forgotten how to cook for anything less than nine people."

Fingon grinned back at him. "I'd like that. A great way to start Winter Break—getting to spend a whole day with you."

They stared at each for a moment and then Maedhros leaned down to kiss Fingon. It wasn't like their earlier kiss on this sofa—this one was soft and slow but Fingon thought it was perfect. He slid his fingers into Maedhros' hair and leaned in. "Maybe we should go to my room," he whispered. "I've no interest in being interrupted again."

Maedhros leaned back to look at him, that small crease on his forehead again. "I should probably go before your roommate gets back, don't you think?"

"Why?" Fingon's stomach clenched. Was Maedhros going to leave again?

"I know you need to talk to him and I know you've got reading to do," Maedhros answered. "You don't want me here for that."

It was true. He didn't want to have a discussion with Finrod if Maedhros was around. That would be a disaster. Talking to Finrod could wait until morning.

Actually he had early class tomorrow, didn't he? Blast it. He could talk to Finrod tomorrow night then. But that didn't feel quite right either. He should clear the air, rather than wait. He owed Finrod that.

But didn't he owe himself some time with Maedhros?

"I don't have to talk to him tonight," Fingon decided. "I'd rather spend the time with you. I can talk to him tomorrow. Really."

Maedhros just looked at him.

"Maedhros. Please. I can talk to Finrod tomorrow. Tonight I just want to be with you."

"You need to talk to him," Maedhros said. "You don't want it to be hanging over you both."

Fingon frowned. "I think I can handle it, Maedhros. I've been friends with Finrod a long time." He narrowed his eyes at Maedhros. "I think you just don't want to stay. Again."

"It's not that at all," Maedhros protested. "You said I never come over but I'm here now, aren't I? We've had time, just the two of us today. I know you have things you need to do tonight, even if you're trying to convince me you don't."

"How can you be so conscientious all the time?" Fingon questioned. "You are so aware of my studies, my roommate, all the little things that I'm willing to let go."

"Occupational hazard," Maedhros gave him a shrug and a sad little smile. "Too many years keeping my brothers on schedule and balancing all their activities." His face grew more serious. "I've got an pretty accurate internal clock and a fairly low threshold for being a nag. Sorry."

"I appreciate the sentiment but I've got things under control. I told you before—I wouldn't suggest it if I didn't mean it." Fingon was getting frustrated and his tone was far sharper than he intended.

Maedhros looked at him, his face a little pale. "Right. Sorry. That was presumptuous of me. Obviously you can manage your own affairs." He nodded at Fingon. "Right. I should go."

"Maedhros, seriously? I just told you I'm not planning on talking to Finrod tonight and I really don't have that much to do for tomorrow," Fingon said, exasperated now. "I can get up early and do both in the morning."

Maedhros turned even paler, an expression of frustration briefly crossing his face. "I don't seem to be doing so well at this today," he said. "It seems I keep saying the wrong thing." He looked at Fingon, disappointment visible on his face. "I'm sorry. I really should just go. I don't want to argue with you."

Fingon stared at him. How had they gotten here again? Hadn't they talked this all out earlier? He wasn't going to give up this easily. "Maedhros, there must be some reason you don't want to hang out at my apartment. That's fine. Just tell me that. Don't make excuses for it."

If anything, Maedhros looked more distressed at Fingon's words. "That's not it, really it's not. It's not you, it's not your place, it's not your roommate. It's me. I just keep saying stupid things and I'm sorry." He stood, turned away from Fingon and grabbed his coat from the hook by the door. "I'm sorry," he repeated. "I don't want to argue with you, Fingon. Believe me when I tell you I really care about you. I don't want to be someone who causes friction between you and your roommate or distracts you from your work." He shrugged into his coat. "I shouldn't have had you make time for me this week. It was selfish. I just wanted to see you before I left town." He put his hand on the doorknob.

"Don't say that, Maedhros. You didn't make me do anything I didn't want to do. Stop taking responsibility for things that aren't under your control." Fingon came to stand next to him, putting his hand on Maedhros' arm. He could feel the tension in it. He made an effort to soften his tone. "I really care about you. I don't know how to make that any clearer. This is important to me and there are things I am willing to sacrifice in the short term for it." He moved closer yet, reaching up to brush Maedhros' hair off his face. "Let me be responsible for myself, ok? I won't have you feeling guilty for my decisions." Fingon ran his hand gently down his arm, Maedhros closing his eyes at the touch. "I can't say I understand what's been going on with us today. But I know we'll figure it out. I'm not giving up on that."

Maedhros opened his eyes and squeezed Fingon's hand tightly. "You're not?"

"I'm not." He gave Maedhros a small smile and attempted to lighten the moment. "You've invited me to Formenos next weekend and I'll be damned if I'm going to miss out on one of your gourmet meals."

A ghost of a smile came over Maedhros' face and he grabbed Fingon into a tight embrace which surprised him with its intensity. "Thank you." His lips brushed Fingon's hair.

They held each other for a long moment, Fingon's face buried in Maedhros' neck, breathing him in. He could feel Maedhros' breath in his hair. He didn't want Maedhros to let him go.

"Will you stay?" Fingon whispered, daring to ask one more time.

He felt Maedhros' arms go rigid as Maedhros pulled back to look at him, his distress showing plainly on his face. A cold shiver of disappointment went through Fingon but he felt a flare of anger now too. He stepped back and looked up at Maedhros, his face expressionless. "Seems I can't change your mind," he said, unable to keep the emotion out of his voice. "Fine. I'm not going to beg you to stay."

The color drained out of Maedhros at his words. "I wouldn't expect you to," he whispered then he nodded once, wrenched open the door and took off down the stairs.

"Maedhros!" But he was gone. Fingon could hear the front door of the building slam shut as he leaned over the railing, trying to catch a glimpse of Maedhros.

What in the hell had just happened? He closed the door and leaned on it wearily. This was not how he had expected this night to end. He covered his face with his hands and took a few shaky deep breaths. It didn't really help. His heart was still racing, the queasy feeling in his stomach worse than before. He curled up on one end of the sofa, his arms tightly wrapped around his drawn up knees, his head resting on them.

It seemed he was going to have the time to talk to Finrod after all.

 




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