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

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Again thanks to Cheekybeak for being a sounding board and fabulous beta for this chapter!


"I'm not going to beg you to stay."

"I'm not going to beg you to stay."

The words repeated themselves as Maedhros made his way to his car. It took him two tries to get the key in the ignition, his hands shaking as he attempted to do it. He finally started the car; after briefly resting his head on the steering wheel and taking a few deep breaths to steady himself he pulled the car into the street and started the drive back to Formenos.

"I'm not going to beg you to stay."

Four years ago his father had said those exact words to his mother.

His home had never been a peaceful one. Maedhros' earliest memories, even before the tumult of numerous brothers, were punctuated by Fëanor and Nerdanel's intermittent clashes.

His parents were both very passionate, intense, brilliant personalities. During the good times they fueled each other's creativity, spurred each other to new endeavors and showered each other with love and admiration.

In the not-so-good times the arguments raged, neither one willing to compromise easily. At first it was the tension that he felt, then the painful intensity of their raised voices, the simmering rage in the way they looked at each other. When he began to actually listen to what was said it all became so much worse. The brilliant intellect that blazed in their creativity turned destructive when they argued. Their words were razor sharp, the insults meant to cut and wound each other, with the unintended effect of devastating those who listened.

When he was very young he would run to Nerdanel, less daunting in her fury than his father, and beg her to stop, wrapping his arms around her legs and looking up at her with his tear-streaked face.

At first that tactic seemed to work and the arguments would come to an awkward stop. But there came a day when Nerdanel bent down, unwrapped his arms from her legs, and told him very clearly that she needed "to finish this discussion." Maedhros had retreated to his room, covering his ears to try to shut their voices out.

He never was able to completely stop intervening. His direct appeals were rarely heeded but with time he, and eventually his brothers, learned that they could sometimes deflect their parents' anger at each other by distraction.

A lamp knocked over "accidentally." A staged sibling altercation. A not-so-staged episode of anxiety-induced vomiting. Some things worked better then others.

As the family grew in number, the frequency and intensity of Fëanor and Nerdanel's quarrels waxed and waned. So many times Maedhros would retreat to his bed, Maglor on one side and Tyelko on the other, both burrowing themselves into his sides, their hands over their ears and his arms protectively around them, as the arguments raged downstairs. Nerdanel's pregnancy with Moryo was plagued by near constant conflict between them.

Moryo, once he joined the household, proved to be a loud and often furious presence. Tyelko, at the time still very young himself, had questioned if Moryo was so loud and angry because of all the raised voices he had experienced when he was growing inside Nerdanel—perhaps that was all he knew to make himself heard? Tyelko's innocent question had resulted in complete silence at the dinner table.

Maedhros had noted his parents shocked expressions and for a time after the household was calmer—disagreements, when they occurred, were conducted in fierce whispers in his parents' bedroom, the garage or outside in the garden.

After the twins were born the conflicts were rarer, even if they were again far less contained. Hearing his parents argue still never failed to make Maedhros' stomach clench and his heart race, no matter how many times he had witnessed them do this.

It had gone on this way, periods of calm then paroxysms of conflict, for many years, even after Maedhros had moved out.

His grandfather's death had sent Fëanor into a downward spiral of grief and fury. His anger was not directed at the family but it still permeated their lives. The conflicts with Nerdanel had calmed over the years but they reached an unexpected peak, four years after Finwë's death.

He had thought himself fortunate at the time, being at Cuivienen and away from the house and his parents. He had not known about the letters until the summer weekend he had found himself at home, with all his siblings, soon after the end of the semester four years before.

All had seemed well until the morning the letter had arrived. In that moment, as his mother had read it with trembling hands, all the light and joy at having her boys around her had disappeared. The sound of her coffee cup crashing onto the tile floor had shattered the fragile peace of the morning. Nerdanel had been as white as the piece of paper she held.

Things had only gotten worse from there.

Within moments his parents had been at each other's throats and Maedhros' had felt his stomach clench as the all-too-familiar anxiety washed over him.

"I am done!" Nerdanel had cried. "I will not stay here and wait for something to happen. I am done, Fëanor."

The letter contained threats . . . very specific threats against his family, his brothers, each and every one of them. The letters had become a regular occurrence. His family was under police protection and he had not even known.

"It's all related to the lawsuit over your grandfather's death." Fëanor had explained. "We go to trial soon and these are intimidation tactics by Morgoth Industries to get me to back down."

"Intimidation tactics?" Maedhros had questioned his father. It all seemed far too detailed to just be a ploy.

"They don't stand a chance in court and they know it. They are not going to get me to back off. I owe it to my father to follow through on this." Fëanor's eyes had darted defiantly to Nerdanel as he spoke. "They're trying to scare us and I was confident it wasn't working."

Nerdanel had ignored him and turned to Maedhros and Maglor. "You've got to come with us. It's not safe where you are," She had reached out to grip both their hands.

"Nerdanel," Fëanor had said, sternly. "Stop trying to frighten them."

"Mom," Maedhros had exchanged a swift look with Maglor before he had spoken. "We're both crashing at Azaghâl's for the summer. Our names aren't anywhere—we're paying him the cash to sublet, not the landlord." He had squeezed her hand reassuringly. "We'll be fine. We'll be careful, but we'll be fine."

"You don't need to go to Formenos with the boys," Fëanor had said to her. "We are safe here, Nerdanel." He had reached out to put his hand on her shoulder and leaned in close. "I would never let anything happen to any of you. You are my life."

"I can't do it, Fëanor. I can't stay here."

"That's what they want you to think. That's why they're doing this!" he had argued.

"You can't let it go, can you? It's more important than anything, isn't it? Making Morgoth pay?" Nerdanel had snapped.

"You know it's not the money! It's the principle. They killed my father, left him in the road, drove away and then tried to cover it up. He didn't deserve that."

"And I don't deserve this. Our sons are in danger and all you can think about is that lawsuit." She had shaken her head. "Our sons are more precious than your revenge."

"You don't have to go."

"You can't change my mind."

"I'm not going to beg you to stay."

She had given him a long look. "I wouldn't expect you to," she had said, walking away.

A quick kiss on Maedhros' cheek and a hug for Maglor and she was gone.

His parents had not spoken to each other again until they were in his hospital room six weeks later.




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