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

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Fingon had texted Maedhros when he had boarded the train and now the Formenos stop was just a few minutes away. He slipped his book into his backpack—he hadn't really been concentrating on it anyway.

He was more exhilarated than apprehensive. He knew there were things the two of them needed to discuss but that core of uncertainty he had felt since Maedhros had walked out of his apartment over a week ago had progressively faded since Maedhros had left him that rambling voicemail.

Fingon smiled at the thought of it. He had known Maedhros was drunk as soon as he heard his voice—the usually crisp syllables slurred, the skilled wordplay reduced to repetitive mumblings. It had been frankly adorable and had done much to reassure him that Maedhros was as invested in this as he was.

He glanced at his backpack and the slightest twinge of doubt swept through him but he willed it away. He had debated over this the night before and into this morning, finally just packing pajamas, a change of clothes and a toothbrush into the pack and leaving his usual messenger bag behind. He'd rationalized it to himself. The trains wouldn't be running late into the night. It was likely they would be drinking with dinner, rendering Maedhros driving him home a bad idea. The weather report was ominous as well; the snowstorm predicted all week was on target to come tonight. Packing an overnight bag made perfect sense when you thought about it that way.

Fingon, unlike Maedhros, had no qualms about spending the night. So, whatever happened, he was ready.

The train was slowing down as it approached the Formenos station. He grabbed the backpack and made his way to the doors. He could see the green Subaru parked in the nearby lot, Maedhros—bundled in a coat and scarf—leaning against the car, his eyes on the train. Fingon made his way down the steps rapidly, unconsciously reaching out his arms to him when he drew close enough.

He was gratified to feel Maedhros' strong arms around him, his breath stirring his hair. The touch said more than words could. They held each other wordlessly for a moment and then Fingon looked up.

"I missed you," he said, smiling up into Maedhros' silver eyes, his breath ghosting from the cold.

"I missed you too," Maedhros replied, reaching down to grasp Fingon's hand.

"So what's the plan?"

"Lunch here in town, I thought, then we can head to the house for the afternoon," Maedhros said. He stepped back, still holding Fingon's hand. "I know it's cold but the square isn't far from here."

"It's fine," Fingon said, pulling his backpack off and rummaging in the front pocket. He retrieved his hat and pulled it down over his ears. "If we're walking can I leave my backpack in your car? I'd rather not lug it through town with me."

Maedhros eyes had widened as he caught sight of the backpack Fingon swung off his shoulder. "Sure," he answered, turning quickly to unlock the car. Maglor had called it, he thought. He was by now familiar with Fingon's ubiquitous messenger bag and this wasn't it. This was a backpack. An overnight bag.

He opened the car door for Fingon as his mind raced. It was supposed to snow tonight. Maybe Fingon was just taking precautions in case the weather got him stuck in Formenos overnight. Shouldn't be an issue though—the Subaru was four-wheel drive and reliable in all kinds of weather. It would be no problem driving him home.

He took Fingon's hand again and forced a smile on his face as they started walking towards the square. But if he drove him home then the specter of staying at his apartment loomed. If the weather was bad he knew Fingon would balk at letting him drive back to Formenos in the middle of a snowstorm.

Fingon's voice broke into his thoughts. "It's finally a little warmer today," he said brightly.

"I was hoping it would be," Maedhros answered. "Likely means we'll get the snow tonight though."

"I don't mind," Fingon said. "Let it snow all it wants. I've got no plans for tomorrow." He squeezed Maedhros' hand.

Maybe it would be easier if Fingon did stay in Formenos, Maedhros reasoned. Then there could be no awkwardness about him leaving his apartment again. There might be awkwardness here too but Maedhros had more control of the situation here. The house was large—far larger than necessary for Maedhros and his two brothers. He could get Fingon set up in one of the many empty rooms and any awkwardness at that arrangement could be blamed directly on the presence of Tyelko and Maglor, he decided.

Good. That was settled. He squeezed Fingon's hand back, belatedly realizing he had been silent a bit too long and Fingon was giving him a quizzical look. "Are you ok, Maedhros? You kind of drifted away from me for a minute there," Fingon said.

"Sorry," Maedhros said, bumping Fingon's shoulder with his own and smiling down at him. "Just thinking about what I've got planned for us today. Didn't mean to get distracted."

Fingon's smile returned. "I'm looking forward to whatever distractions you have planned.


Fingon had not anticipated ice skating would be one of the day's activities.

Lunch at the pub had been comfortable. He and Maedhros had found themselves back to their usual conversational flow, savoring the contact and exchange of ideas.

The drive to the lake had been fairly short but Fingon had been startled by the destination itself. They had reached an imposing gate, set in an equally impressive fence. Maedhros had punched a keypad and the gate had opened onto a wide and exceedingly long driveway. It was actually more of a road than a driveway, Fingon decided. He was surprised again when he caught sight of the house. It was massive, flanked by what appeared to be a barn and then a smaller house to the far right.

"This is your house?" Fingon asked.

Maedhros shrugged and his face colored. "It was my grandfather's place. He built it just before the twins were born."

"It's huge!" Fingon said, his eyes traveling over it and the open property all around.

"It had to be," Maedhros explained. "There are nine people in my family, not counting my grandparents, you know. Grandfather wanted it big enough for all of us." His eyes met Fingon's. "I think I told you we used to spend summers here?"

"I think I was expecting more of a cottage or cabin," Fingon said. "I hadn't thought about how many of you there were."

They made their way from the garage into a room with shelves, lockers and coatracks lining an entire wall. A washer and dryer took up the far end of the room.

"Come this way," Maedhros said, motioning to Fingon. "You can leave your coat on the hook here and your bag on the bench."

Fingon complied and then followed Maedhros into the spacious kitchen. "You want some coffee or tea or something?" Maedhros asked.

"I want a tour," Fingon said, grinning.

Maedhros shook his head, an answering grin on his face. "It's just a house."

That was an understatement. It was all built on a large scale, from the kitchen to the dining room to the game room, complete with pool table, darts, table tennis, and even a pinball machine against the far wall.

The family room looked lived in—sprawling sofas arranged to face a massive television screen, gaming systems resting on the shelves that flanked it. A serene library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves, window seats, and armchairs that looked ready to welcome readers, came next.

"Just bedrooms upstairs," Maedhros said, as they concluded their walk around the main floor. "And an office."

Fingon raised his eyebrows. "It's lovely. Massive but lovely."

"Yeah, the three of us do rattle around in here. It feels more cramped when the rest of the family shows up."

Fingon was drifting back to the library. "I love this room," he said dreamily. "I could spend the whole day in here."

Maedhros laughed. "I often have. It's got the best chairs, a fireplace, a view of the lake, and all these books!" His eyes swept around the room fondly. "It's my favorite room too—always has been." He brushed his fingertips along the spines of the books on the shelf nearest him. "I used to hide in here when I was sick of having little brothers." He motioned Fingon over to the window seat, pulling him down onto it next to him, and then leaning back on the far wall. He pulled his feet up and wrapped an arm around his bent knees, motioning to Fingon to do the same. They faced each other, leaning on opposite walls. "I'd sit here, with a book, and close the curtains around me," Maedhros pulled on a cord behind him and the curtains moved into place, enclosing the two of them in the window seat. "So no one could find me. Except Grandfather." He got a distant look in his eyes. "He always knew to look for me here."

"You were close to him, weren't you?" Fingon asked softly, scooting closer to Maedhros as he spoke, resting his hand on his knee.

Maedhros exhaled. "I was. He and I shared many similar interests. Even though he was a busy man, with the company, all of his boards and charities, he always found time for me."

Fingon leaned towards Maedhros. "I'm sorry."

Maedhros wordlessly pulled him towards him, Fingon's back ending up against his chest, Maedhros' arms around him and his cheek resting against Fingon's hair. "I am too," he said. "But I've got good memories of him here. It helps." They sat there, entwined in each other's arms on the cushioned window seat, cocooned by the curtains.

Maedhros inhaled the scent of Fingon's hair. It felt so good to have Fingon in his arms again. He briefly considered kissing him but restrained himself. There were too many unspoken things between them, things said and left unsaid at their last encounter. He couldn't keep falling back on their physical attraction. There was more to this relationship than that.

Fingon leaned his head back and looked up at Maedhros, who stared out the window at the snow-covered lawn and frozen lake beyond. All Maedhros had to do was turn his head and Fingon's lips would be there, to meet his.

At his movement, Maedhros did look down, his eyes meeting Fingon's. Even though he ached for that contact, Fingon held back from moving further. Communicating through physical touch was well and good. Well, it was actually better than good but it still wasn't a substitute for verbal communication. He couldn't keep avoiding the fact that he and Maedhros needed to talk by diverting himself to a purely physical connection.

They looked at each other for a moment, neither one speaking, neither one moving, and then Maedhros broke the silence. "I didn't invite you here to take a tour of the house. Sorry for getting sidetracked. I just wanted to spend time with you."

"This is spending time together." He turned slightly, still resting on Maedhros' chest. It was cold in the window seat but Maedhros was warm, his body radiating heat. He let his head rest against Maedhros' shoulder, both of them looking out the window now. "It must be lovely here in the summer."

"I like it in any season," Maedhros said. "It's not as peaceful in the summer, with all the traffic on the lake." He tilted his head. "I love it best in autumn, when the changing colors of the trees surround it."

"Mmm. That sounds lovely." Fingon pressed a finger to the glass. It was cold to touch and his finger left a condensation impression.

"Are you cold?" Maedhros asked. "There's a fireplace—I can start a fire for us."

"No, you said you had plans for today. I don't want to spoil that." He turned to look at Maedhros with anticipation. "What did you have in mind?"

"I kind of like what we're doing now," Maedhros admitted, raising his eyebrows at Fingon. "But we've got the whole evening ahead of us for that." He looked out the window again. "It gets dark early. We won't get much time to skate if we wait too long." And he didn't know how long he could restrain himself from kissing Fingon, if they stayed here like this.

Fingon tensed at the words.

"You are cold," Maedhros stated, pulling the cord again to open the curtains and causing Fingon to sit up. They separated and Maedhros stood to pull him to a stand. "Maybe skating will be too cold for you?"

"You sure the lake is frozen enough for it?" Fingon asked, standing up next to Maedhros now, his mind racing.

Maedhros laughed. "It's frozen enough. Tyelko set up the ice fishing shelter last week." His fingers found Fingon's and held them. "We could do that if you like instead, it's just a bit more time consuming."

Fingon's mouth went dry and he could feel his stomach start to churn. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with ice in general but he certainly had no interest in dealing with anything that involved holes in the ice. He pushed the uneasy sensation away, smiling up at Maedhros in what he hoped looked like his usual expression. "I'm happy to take a pass on the ice fishing."

"Me too," Maedhros confessed. "It's not my favorite outdoor activity. I haven't skated yet this year—I thought I'd rather wait and do it with you anyway."

Fingon had to say something. Maedhros looked so happy right now. How had he not anticipated this? A house on a lake in winter. It had never crossed his mind that Maedhros would suggest ice skating. But he had and he looked overjoyed at the idea. Fingon took a breath in and answered.

"Well, if you've been waiting for me I shouldn't let you wait any longer." He could hardly believe he was saying those words.

"Are you sure? I know you don't like the cold but with the snow coming tonight it's not as cold or windy as it's been, so I thought it might not be too bad."

"I've got my hat, scarf and gloves. I'll be perfectly fine," Fingon assured him, his voice far more confident than he felt.

"Come on then," Maedhros said. "I kept forgetting to ask you if you had your own skates but it doesn't really matter—there's a dozen pairs at least in the garage—one's bound to fit you."

Fingon let himself be pulled along, back through the house, to the laundry room and then to the garage after they had retrieved their coats and his hat, gloves and scarf. He stumbled along, his stomach roiling, his mind numb, barely feeling Maedhros' hand.

They had reached the garage. "What size shoes do you wear?" Maedhros asked. He turned away from Fingon and began rummaging through a shelf of skates.

"Uh, eleven." Fingon said, a shiver going through him that had nothing to do with the temperature in the garage.

Ice skating. That was Maedhros' plan for the day. There was nothing he dreaded more, not even the conversation with Maedhros that was likely coming later in the night. How was he going to get out of this? He'd already basically agreed to it.

He bit his lip and clenched his jaw. Maybe he could try. He could try for Maedhros. It was stupid anyway, an irrational fear. It couldn't happen again. Could it?

Ugh. He needed to stop this train of thought. Facts. What were the facts? It had been below freezing for weeks now. So, the lake must be sufficiently frozen. If Tyelko had set up an ice shelter the ice had to be sturdy enough for skating, right? Right. Maedhros didn't seem worried about it at all. Maedhros should know—he'd spent years on this lake. He'd know if it wasn't a good idea to skate. Right?

Maedhros turned back to Fingon, a pair of skates in his hand. "Here, try these."

"Here?"

"Yeah," Maedhros pulled another pair off the shelf and held them in his hand. "We need to know if they fit before we walk all the way down to the lake."

"Oh. Right," Fingon said, taking the skates.

He found himself sitting on the garage steps, mechanically going through the motions of trying on the skates, Maedhros' voice a dull murmur surrounding him.

"They fit?" Maedhros bent down over him to look.

"They're fine."

"You'll have to tie them tighter than that when we go out there," Maedhros informed him.

Fingon nodded. "I got it."

"You have skated before, right? I didn't even think to ask you," Maedhros said, giving him a questioning look. Fingon's voice sounded a little odd. But if he didn't want to skate he would tell him, wouldn't he? Fingon had been forthright with him before. Maybe he didn't want to admit he didn't know how to skate?

This was his out, Fingon thought. Maybe if he told Maedhros he couldn't skate. It would be so easy to say no. It would make it all go away.

But Maedhros kept on talking before Fingon could answer him. "If you haven't, don't worry. I can teach you. I taught most of my brothers and if I can teach them, I can teach anybody." His eyes were shining as he smiled encouragingly at Fingon.

It wouldn't be honest to say no. He wasn't going to go into this relationship with Maedhros and not be honest. About the big issues and the little ones. Fingon wouldn't have it any other way.

He took a breath to steady himself. Maedhros was looking forward to this and Fingon could get through it. It was irrational anyway, he'd been telling himself that for years.

"I can skate," he said, his voice a little unsteady. He cleared his throat and continued in a more even tone. "It's just been a really long time—not since I was a kid. I'm sure I'm pretty rusty."

Maedhros put his hand on his shoulder. "It will come back to you. I'll help, promise." That was what was bothering Fingon then—he was just out of practice. He squeezed Fingon's shoulder reassuringly and straightened up. "Go ahead and take them off and we'll head down to the shore."

Ten minutes later Fingon found himself sitting on a bench by the frozen lake, putting the skates back on. His hands trembled as he tried to lace them, tangling the laces in knots and forcing him to redo it.

"Here, let me help," Maedhros said, kneeling down in the snow and tying Fingon's left skate as he continued to struggle with the right.

Done. They were both tied and snug. Maedhros had his skates on already and stood next to him now. Fingon stood and found his balance, pulling his hat over his ears and tugging his gloves on.

It was only a few steps to the lake. It could have been a mile, as far as Fingon was concerned. He couldn't move.

"Hey, are you ok?" Maedhros asked, turning to look at him. Fingon's face was paler than usual but he had a determined expression. If he was feeling a lack of confidence in his skating it probably wasn't helping that Maedhros kept questioning him. Maedhros hated it when people did that to him. Once they were on the ice the movements would come back to him.

"I'm fine. Just getting used to the feeling." It wasn't really a lie. Fingon just was unlikely to get used to it. He clenched his fists and took a tentative step forward, feeling as if his leg was encased in cement. Ok. He did it. Now one more. His stomach rebelled and Fingon felt a wave of nausea come over him. The next step would get him on the ice.

Maedhros was already there and he reached back a hand to Fingon. "Take my hand. It will keep you steady while you get your bearings on the ice."

Fingon reached out, watching his arm move, as if it wasn't a part of him. He gripped Maedhros' hand. He looked into those silver eyes, gazing at him fondly, warmth and anticipation in Maedhros' look. He took the next step, wobbled until he put his other foot on the ice and then he was there, next to Maedhros, on the frozen lake.

It was a mistake to look down. The last time he had looked down at his skates on the ice years ago he had heard that sound—the sudden crisp crack and then the clatter like ice cubes tumbling into a glass—and he had been falling, freezing water in his mouth, his nose, his eyes, his fingers scrabbling to grip the edge and breaking off shards of ice instead.

He couldn't see anything but his skates and the ice beneath them. All his vision tunneled down to that. His breath came in gasps but he was unable to move, unable to lift his head.

"Fingon, are you ok?" Maedhros' voice sounded distant. He could feel his hand holding onto something still, clutching it to anchor him to something, someone.

A second pair of skates came into view. No. NO. NO! The ice couldn't hold them both, it was barely holding him. Panic pushed him into movement and Fingon stepped back, one step, two, then as his skate tangled in the snow he fell on his back, the open sky above him.

A thud next to him announced Maedhros' presence. "Fingon!" He could feel gloved hands on his face and Maedhros own alarmed visage came into view above him, blocking out the sky. "What happened? Are you ok?"

Fingon blinked up at him, taking deep breaths.

"Talk to me, Fingon." Maedhros voice was gentle, his hands staying on either side of his face, his eyes holding Fingon's. "It's something more than just a long time since you skated, isn't it?"

Fingon nodded. He didn't trust his voice quite yet.

"Ok, ok. Don't worry about it. Just take some deep breaths. In and out. Breathe with me."

Fingon mimicked Maedhros and over the next few moments his breath steadied. Maedhros leaned back, taking Fingon's hand now. "Can you stand up, do you think?"

"I'm ok now, Maedhros." Fingon pulled himself up into a seated position, noticing the chill from his snow-covered pants now. He put his face in his hands. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to freak you out. I thought I could do this."

An arm came around his shoulders. "Come on, let's get back to the house. You've got snow all over you and it's cold out here." Maedhros pulled him up and over to the bench, kneeling down to unlace Fingon's skates, despite his protest that he could do it himself.

They made their way to the house wordlessly, Maedhros keeping his arm around Fingon's shoulders until they got there. They hung their coats and kicked off their shoes; Maedhros eyed Fingon's jeans critically. "You're soaking wet. Let me find you something dry to wear." He searched through the nearby laundry basket and finally pulled out a pair of sweatpants and some socks. "It's clean laundry—I just hadn't taken it upstairs yet," he said, as he handed the items to Fingon. "Go ahead and get changed. Toss your stuff in the dryer and I'll go make something hot to drink. You want coffee, tea or hot chocolate?"

"Whatever's fine," Fingon said. "Thanks, Maedhros. I'm sorry I lost it out there."

Maedhros gave him a look before he stepped into the kitchen, not the pity that Fingon expected but a look of such tenderness and compassion it almost took his breath away again.

He changed quickly, rolling the waistband over to adjust the length of the sweats, and threw his wet pants and socks into the dryer. He walked into the kitchen and collapsed in one of the chairs there.

Maedhros sank into the chair across from him and pushed a steaming mug to him. "It's tea. It was the quickest thing."

"Thanks."

They drank in silence for a few minutes and then Maedhros spoke. "You don't have to explain anything to me." His familiar forehead crease appeared again as he continued. "I'm sorry about suggesting the skating. I wish you'd told me you didn't want to." He looked at Fingon, his expression serious and intent. "I hate that I made you so uncomfortable."

"You didn't. It was all me." Fingon wrapped his hands around the mug, relishing the warmth. "I should have said something. I owe you an explanation." He paused as Maedhros' eyes widened. "No, really, it's something I should have dealt with by now and I just haven't." He frowned and then continued. "I haven't skated since I was a kid. I haven't wanted to and I've had a hard time even thinking about it."

He saw the pained and guilty expression cross Maedhros' face and he reached across for his hand. "No. You couldn't have known. I didn't even think about it myself—I should have realized—you live on a lake." He grimaced. "Really, it's stupid. Stupid and weak and something I can't seem to control." He brushed Maedhros' fingers with his own but his voice sharpened at Maedhros' expression. "Stop it. Don't blame yourself for suggesting it. I know that's what you're doing." He shook his head. "Don't take responsibility for things that aren't your fault, Maedhros. I've told you that before, remember?"

Maedhros nodded but the stricken look didn't leave his face. "I'm sorry."

If anything, he looked even more tense at Fingon's words.

"Listen, last time I skated I had an accident," Fingon said, his words coming out in a rush, now that he had decided to speak about it. "The ice cracked and . . . and I fell in and nearly drowned." He paused and took a breath, his eyes focused on Maedhros. "I haven't been able to skate since then. I've been too scared to even try."

"I'm so sorry," Maedhros repeated.

"There's nothing to be sorry for. It's my issue. I'm the one who can't control it. It's stupid and irrational but it is what it is." He gripped Maedhros' hand tightly. "You're the first person I've ever talked to about this, other than my family. I try not to think about it. But that hasn't made it go away, has it?"

Maedhros paled and a strangled "Finno," came out of his mouth, but then he stopped.

"I know. I'm sorry I screwed up your plans for the day."

Maedhros just stared at him.

"Maedhros?"




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