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

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Maedhros had vacillated between elated and apprehensive since returning from Brethil. He couldn't wait to see Fingon again but a part of him dreaded the conversation that needed to take place.

There were moments he had himself convinced he could make this work and others, fortunately less frequently, where he felt torn—wanting this relationship so badly but convinced it wasn't fair to Fingon.

Azaghâl had sensed his mood on the drive home from the wedding, had once again unfailingly ferreted out his concerns and had then proceeded to treat him to a blistering tirade as a result.

"I don't see how you think you get to make decisions for other people, Russandol," Azaghâl said. "Fingon's an adult. He doesn't need you to protect him, least of all from yourself. Stop being such a conscientious asshole. You don't get the right to tell him what's best for him—only he gets to make that decision."

"I'm not making a decision for him, Az. I can make a decision for myself, that this isn't fair to him and give him the chance to get out before it gets too serious."

"That's bullshit and you know it. That's still you making a decision for him, convincing yourself it's all self-sacrificing and noble on your part, but still controlling the whole thing," Azaghâl growled. "Which doesn't make you the good guy, Russandol. It makes you the control freak asshole." He glared at Maedhros. "Mahal's balls! Have the decency to trust him to make his own choices. We've been over this. You care about him enough to protect him? Then show you respect him enough to let him make his own decisions about his own life!"

It was similar to what Fingon had said to him the last time they had seen each other. He tried to remember Azaghâl's words whenever he started to feel the anxiety mounting.

Work was a necessary and welcome distraction. With the end of the semester this week he didn't have as much help at Beleriand Books. He had given Erestor some well-deserved days off as well—he had taken on extra weekend and holiday hours so Maedhros could have the time free.

It was Wednesday afternoon. Fingon was coming to Formenos on Saturday. The snow had finally stopped but the temperatures had been continually frigid for weeks now. The lake was more than adequately frozen for skating; in fact, Tyelko had set up the ice fishing shelter while Maedhros was at Brethil.

He kept forgetting to ask Fingon if he had skates but it really didn't matter; there were so many pairs of skates in varying sizes at the house. He'd surely find a pair that fit Fingon.

He hadn't decided on what to cook yet either but he wasn't going to the store until Friday anyway. It had to be perfect—Fingon was under the impression that he was skilled, based on their conversation the week before, and Maedhros wasn't about to disappoint him.

The store was quiet and mostly devoid of customers. Maedhros was manning the desk, using the downtime to run through the store's profit and loss statements and balance sheets, in preparation for meeting with Moryo in a few weeks' time.

He was preoccupied with the numbers when he heard a customer make his way to the counter. "I'll be with you in just a second," Maedhros apologized, eyes on the screen in front of him still, wanting to save the data before he got distracted.

"No worries," said a familiar voice.

Maedhros rapidly turned his head at the sound, to find Fingon leaning on the counter, his brilliant blue eyes sparkling with amusement and that stunning smile on his face. Maedhros' heart raced at the sight of him. "Hey," he said, with an answering smile of his own. "What are you doing here? I was sure you would be swamped today."

"No studio today with end of term so I decided I could use a little study-break." Fingon tilted his head to the side as he looked at Maedhros. "That ok?"

"It's more than ok," Maedhros replied, a warm sensation flooding through him. It was so good to see Fingon. "I'm a bit short staffed today," he apologized. "So I can't actually leave the store."

"No worries," Fingon repeated. "I'm fine staying here."

Maedhros just gazed at him, enjoying the wave of contentment that washed over him at being in Fingon's company.

"I can sit and read if you have things you need to do," Fingon offered, motioning at the computer.

"No," Maedhros interjected. "Let me just finish this one thing—it will only take me a minute." He grimaced. "It's the end of year financial statements I'm getting ready for Moryo. I just need to save them and then I'm all yours."

"I like the sound of that," Fingon said. "I'll go get a cup of coffee." He grinned at Maedhros. "I'll get you one too. I'm sure I still owe you one."

"Perfect. I'll be done in just a minute, I promise," Maedhros watched him walk away, his heart continuing to race. He was not going to screw this up. It was good when Fingon was around. It was better than good. He dragged his attention back to the screen, determined not to waste any time they could be spending together today.

He had just closed down the files when Fingon returned with the coffee.

"Can I help at all?" he asked, leaning on the counter and sliding a cup of coffee towards Maedhros. "I'm pretty good at working in the storeroom." To his surprise Fingon actually winked at him as he said that.

Maedhros' mouth went dry. What was with Fingon today? He seemed so relaxed, so confident, considering he was in the midst of finals and that their last encounter had been so awkward, if not downright unpleasant. His demeanor caught Maedhros off guard.

Maybe he really was overthinking everything. Maybe it hadn't affected Fingon the same way. That was something to consider.

He realized he had been staring at Fingon and hadn't answered him. Well, he could do this too.

"I can't think of anyone I would rather have with me in the storeroom," Maedhros smiled, leaning forward on the counter himself now, his face inches away from Fingon's. "But I can't really afford to get that distracted when it's only me on desk duty, can I?"

"Distracted? You seemed pretty focused to me," Fingon laughed.

"You have no idea."

Blue eyes met silver. Maedhros hand slipped forward to touch Fingon's. "I really wish I had back up today. Are you ok hanging here at the desk with me?"

"I'm happy to be anywhere with you," Fingon responded, squeezing his hand gently. "Can I sit here or is there someplace else that would be better?"

"Sit here with me," Maedhros said. "There's another stool somewhere." He looked around and then stepped out from behind the counter and walked to the music section, returning with another stool. "Maglor gets lazy sometimes when he's sorting the vinyl back there," he explained, placing it next to his own and motioning Fingon to join him behind the counter.

They were soon seated side by side, Fingon's leg just next to his under the counter. Maedhros looked down at him fondly, his face relaxing. "I'm really glad you stopped by. Sorry to be so boring today."

Fingon tilted his head back as he looked up at Maedhros. "I'm not bored."

The way he said it made Maedhros' face heat up. He felt Fingon's leg bump against his and then come to rest against his thigh. Maedhros was very aware of the sensation and the warmth of Fingon so close to him. " You will be soon enough," Maedhros assured him, managing to keep his voice low and steady. "Midweek is usually pretty slow for us. That's why I usually head to estate sales or up to Tirion to meet with potential sellers during the week." He ran a hand through his hair. It was uncharacteristically out of its usual bun, much to Fingon's satisfaction. "My manager is usually here when I'm not but I wanted to give him some days off- he's been covering some weekends for me and holiday time too."

"Let me know if there's anything I can do while I'm here, since you won't let me help in the back," Fingon said, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm just happy to have the company," Maedhros said, deflecting the storeroom comment but not able to keep his cheeks from flushing again at the memory. "Usually when it's slow I go over inventory or balance sheets, sometimes I read a bit. I far prefer having you here."

"So tell me about your weekend," Fingon said. "How was the wedding?"

"It was great seeing everyone. I hadn't really kept up with people much after I graduated and opened the store," Maedhros got a faraway look as he continued. "Other than a few of the professors here and Azaghâl that is."

"That's who you went to the wedding with, right? Your old roommate?"

Maedhros' eyes focused on Fingon again and he smiled. "Azaghâl was one of the first people I met at Cuiviénen. We roomed together, starting sophomore year, all through grad school." Maedhros continued "I think I told you he's adjunct faculty in the Classics Department and married, with a baby. Actually, Narvi isn't technically a baby anymore—she's over a year old now."

"That's all too real world for me," Fingon said. "I haven't had many classmates get married yet but I suppose it's just a matter of time." He looked at Maedhros thoughtfully. "Do you miss it?"

"Miss what?"

"School. The friends. The classes."

Maedhros lowered his eyebrows as he thought about the question. "I miss some of it. It's certainly easier to make friends at school." His eyes met Fingon's again. "Although I have met some interesting people here at the bookstore."

"Yes, I have too," Fingon agreed, bumping Maedhros' leg again. "Tell me about Azaghâl."

"Az? How do I even describe Az?" Maedhros grinned. "Well, for starters, he's almost a foot shorter than me, so we look pretty comical when we're together. He's also a lot stockier than me, with this massive shaggy beard—really we're opposites except that he's got reddish hair too."

"But what's he like?" Fingon persisted.

"He's smart. He's funny. He can also be a complete asshole. He likes to think he knows me well enough that he can call me out when he thinks I'm being an idiot," Maedhros replied, the memory of his friend doing just that still fresh in his mind.

"And does he? Call you out, I mean?"

"Yes, it's completely aggravating." Maedhros complained.

"Is he usually right?" Fingon asked, with a mischievous look.

"He certainly seems to think so. That's why it's so blasted annoying."

"I hope I get to meet him sometime," Fingon said.

"I'm sure you will. He's looking forward to meeting you," Maedhros' eyes widened as he realized what he had just admitted.

"You've talked to him about me then?" Fingon asked with a wickedly delighted smirk on his face.

Maedhros felt his face get warm. He'd certainly walked into that one. But what was with Fingon? He was so confident, so assertive and jovial; once again turning Maedhros into the blushing, tongue-tied one. He wasn't used to this. "I might have mentioned you," he choked out finally.

"Finrod's like that for me," Fingon said kindly, changing the focus of their conversation, amused to see he had managed to fluster Maedhros again. It was typically the other way around. "We've known each other since high school but didn't really get to be friends until Cuiviénen. We started rooming together my senior year."

Maedhros hesitated but then decided to ask the question anyway. "Things ok, after the other day? With him, I mean."

Fingon put his hand on Maedhros' arm. "It's fine. Really." He regarded Maedhros intently for a moment and then spoke again. "I know you wanted to talk about some things and I know we need to, but it can wait for the weekend. We'll have time then." His hand squeezed Maedhros' forearm gently, then slipped down to grasp his hand. "I just really wanted to see you today, nothing more."

Maedhros twined his fingers with Fingon's, his mind turning over his words. When had he said they needed to talk? It was obvious they needed to but he didn't remember actually voicing that to Fingon. No matter. He squeezed Fingon's fingers back. "I'm looking forward to a whole day with you this weekend, not just a few hours."

Fingon sighed. "I am too. Just one more day to get through," He looked around the store and then gently slipped his hand out of Maedhros', leaning into his shoulder to keep the contact instead.

"Are you done tomorrow then?" Maedhros asked, confused.

Fingon's forehead creased. "No. Sorry. I didn't mean it that way. I've got a paper to turn in tomorrow. It's already done—just needs to be proofread one last time and printed-so I wasn't really counting that." He took a breath in and exhaled before speaking again. "Friday is when I actually present and defend my project-that's the day that really matters." His eyes widened as he continued. "And that's it! That's the end of it—just my internship next semester and I'm done with grad school." Fingon shook his head. He still hadn't had time to cut his hair and Maedhros was momentarily mesmerized by the cascade of his dark waves. "It's hard to believe. Now I just need to worry about finding a job," Fingon added.

"I'm sure you'll find one soon enough. Cuiviénen's architecture school has an excellent reputation and I'm sure your internship will help," Maedhros said encouragingly.

"Then I just need to be outstanding in my interviews and I'll be set," Fingon laughed.

"I'm sure you'll have no problem with that." Maedhros bumped Fingon's shoulder gently as he spoke.

Fingon leaned into him, moving his knee under the desk to press against Maedhros' leg again. "Your confidence in me is reassuring."

They sat in silence for a few moments. Fingon glanced at his watch. "When do you need to go?" Maedhros asked.

"There's no rush. I can stay a bit longer. I just need to catch the five o'clock train."

"I'd offer to drive you home but the store is open until six tonight," Maedhros said.

"You drive up to Tirion all the time. I'm fine taking the train back," Fingon turned slightly towards Maedhros. "Speaking of the train—what time do you want me to be here on Saturday?"

"Anytime is fine. I've got the whole day off so come whenever you like. Just let me know, so I can pick you up at the station," Maedhros replied. "We can have lunch here in town and then head over to the house after."

"Late morning sounds perfect. I've got plans to go out with Finrod Friday night to celebrate the end of the semester—I never know what to expect with him. It could be a bar, a club, a restaurant—whatever has caught his interest this week."

"Sounds like fun. You won't be too tired Saturday? I'm off Sunday too, if that's better for you," Maedhros offered.

Fingon fixed him with a penetrating look. "I do not intend to put it off one more day, Maedhros. I've been looking forward to spending Saturday with you since last week. Don't you even think about changing anything!"

Maedhros beamed back at him. "I wouldn't think of it."

They sat at the counter, the time passing in conversation. Maedhros had expected their reunion to be at least a little awkward, after the way they had parted the last time they had been together but it seemed the continued texting and contact had smoothed that over. That and the fact that Fingon seemed to be taking it in stride, far more than Maedhros himself.

It was soon time for Fingon to head to the station to catch his train. Maedhros walked him to the door of the bookstore. "Thanks for stopping by today. It really made my day to see you," he said, as they reached the door.

"I'm glad I had time for a study break. I wanted to see you so much," Fingon grinned up at him. "I missed your voice too, Maedhros. I can only replay a voicemail so many times—it's much better hearing the real thing."

That was a bit of an odd statement, Maedhros thought. He had missed hearing Fingon's voice too but hadn't mentioned it, thinking it would sound too sappy. It didn't sound sappy at all when Fingon said it though. It made him feel treasured. It was touching that Fingon had that stupid old voicemail of his, telling him about finding the book, still saved on his phone. It made Maedhros wish he had a voicemail from Fingon to listen to, for those times when he felt the anxiety start to ratchet up.

He stepped outside the store with Fingon, his hand placed lightly on his back. "Until Saturday then. Text me when you board the train—I'll be there to pick you up on time that way."

Fingon turned, put his hands on Maedhros' shoulders and went up on tiptoe, landing a soft kiss on his lips. "I can't wait," he said.

Maedhros pulled him into his arms, breathed in the scent of his hair and whispered back "I can't either."

He stood in the cold, watching Fingon walk towards the square until he disappeared around the corner. Maedhros walked back into the bookstore. He would make this work. It was worth it.

He was back in front of his computer before he realized he'd forgotten to ask Fingon about skates again.




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