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

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Author's Chapter Notes:

This is a longer chapter than usual! My thanks again to Cheekybeak for her comments on it and to Ziggy for her prodding me to get this chapter out. Thanks to all the reviewers for their lovely comments and continued encouragement. It's much appreciated! More artwork for this chapter.

 




 


Fingon's body may have outwardly seemed tranquil, his arms around Maedhros, enfolded in his warm embrace, but his mind was anything but.

A part of him was still in a state of disbelief that he had actually attempted to get on the ice. It would have been far more sensible to have just told Maedhros the truth upfront. It would have saved him some embarrassment and Maedhros some unnecessary guilt. But would Maedhros have opened up if Fingon hadn't dared to first? He wasn't sure. There was no question he was grateful for what they had accomplished today but one particular phrase Maedhros had uttered lingered in Fingon's mind.

"You don't owe me an explanation." Maedhros had said that earlier. It resonated now and Fingon was quite sure there was a story behind those nightmares, one Maedhros had not shared with him. The words had likely reflected Maedhros' own feelings perhaps far more than he was willing to admit.

He respected Maedhros' right to keep that information to himself until he was ready to share whatever troubled him. For now it was enough that Maedhros had admitted there was an issue at all.

It must be something of significance if it made Maedhros feel anything like the panic Fingon had experienced today on the ice. He was more than willing to have Maedhros come to terms with it at his own pace, knowing what that feeling was like.

But just as Maedhros had inadvertently revealed more of his inner thoughts than he had intended, so had Fingon. He didn't think Maedhros had actually heard what he said-he certainly hadn't acknowledged it. Perhaps the depth of Fingon's feelings for him wasn't completely out in the open. Not that he didn't want it to be; being more open with Maedhros was something he craved. But there seemed to be enough stress on Maedhros right now without adding that too. They were still learning how to communicate with each other and his revelation might be overwhelming. It would come with time. He didn't need to say it out loud yet. It was still early in their relationship, even if his heart felt otherwise.

He shifted slightly; content as he was in Maedhros' arms the floor certainly wasn't the most comfortable location-his left foot was going numb. Maedhros instantly glanced down at him. "You ok?" he asked.

"I'm better than ok," Fingon smiled back. "But this floor is a little hard."

"I'm sorry," Maedhros apologized. "I should have suggested moving to the sofa earlier."

"Stop that," Fingon warned. "I was perfectly capable of telling you earlier or suggesting it myself."

"Well, now I know," Maedhros said, standing and pulling Fingon up with him. He put his arms around Fingon, resting his cheek on Fingon's hair.

"Should I be expecting one of your brothers to walk in anytime soon?" Fingon asked.

Maedhros leaned back and grinned down at him. "No worries about that. Maglor has recitals most of the day and then some sort of reception tonight. I don't expect him back until later. Tyelko had practice with the team." Maedhros raised one eyebrow and looked amused. "I believe he had plans for dinner with your sister."

"Why didn't I know about that?" Fingon complained. "She just got home yesterday."

"Tyelko's been texting or calling her every day from what I can tell. He's excited to see her again."

Aredhel had mentioned Tyelko more in the last few weeks. It seemed Fingon would have to wait to get the whole story from her in person.

"I should probably start working on that dinner I promised you," Maedhros said, reluctantly releasing Fingon from his arms.

"I'm looking forward to it. Can I help at all?"

"I'd love the company."

They made their way to the kitchen hand in hand.

Fingon found himself seated at the table, a salad spinner in his hands, as he watched Maedhros confidently move about the kitchen. He probably had no idea how adorable he looked, Fingon thought-his hair up in a ponytail now, his glasses periodically slipping down his nose, a wine-colored apron with an eight-pointed star covering his clothing and making him look remarkably professional and undeniably attractive.

Maedhros swept by him to retrieve something from the refrigerator. He looked down at Fingon fondly. "It works better if you actually spin it," he said, gesturing at the salad spinner.

"Oh. Right. Sorry. Told you I was pretty useless in a kitchen," Fingon said, vigorously spinning the handle now. "May I ask what we're having for dinner or is it a surprise?"

"Not a surprise-you're here watching anyway. Nothing that complicated- just some venison steaks with a chestnut puree, vegetables on the side, a salad and dessert," Maedhros said, cracking an egg and expertly separating the yolk from the white as he spoke.

Fingon's eyes stayed on him, the salad spinner falling idle yet again. "I feel like I'm in a swanky restaurant with a menu like that. Where'd you get the venison?"

"Tyelko. He brought one down a few weeks ago. He usually gets one every season," Maedhros replied, continuing to pour ingredients into the bowl in front of him.

"So, he's a hunter too. All around outdoorsman?"

"Oh yeah. He bagged some quail too but I prefer the venison-it cooks quickly on the grill." Maedhros' voice was loud now to be heard over the mixer. "I'm also not a fan of picking out the buckshot."

"No buckshot in the venison then?" Fingon had gone camping and fishing with his father many times but he had no experience with hunting.

"No, Tyelko prefers to shoot deer with his bow." Maedhros had turned the mixer off.

"A bow!"

"He's quite good actually," Maedhros admitted, pouring the mixture into some small pans. Fingon had no idea what he was making but it smelled like chocolate. "I'll let this chill while I do the rest." He passed by Fingon again as he put the pans in the refrigerator. "You getting anywhere with that salad?"

Fingon whipped the spinner back into action but Maedhros laid a hand on his shoulder and stopped him. "I'm sure it's fine," he said, taking it out of Fingon's hands.

He leaned back in his chair, free to observe Maedhros uninterrupted now as he crossed to the patio doors and stepped out to the grill that was nestled next to the house.

"Snow's really coming down," Maedhros said as he came back into the kitchen, stamping his feet and kicking off his shoes. "I'm glad grandfather screened in that porch. Makes year round grilling so much easier."

"Can I do anything else to help?" Fingon questioned.

"There's a wine refrigerator in the pantry-can you grab a bottle from the top shelf?"

Fingon found the wine easily, perusing the label as he walked back to sit at the table again. "Odd name for a wine, isn't it? The Prisoner? Is it a red?"

"That particular winery gives all their wines odd names. It's actually quite a good vintage. It's a blend of reds-Zin, Cabernet, Syrah. It goes nicely with the meat. Is red ok for you?" Maedhros asked.

"Sounds great. I'm not too well-versed in wine," Fingon admitted.

"It was a hobby of my grandfather's," Maedhros said. "He always let us taste from his glass when we were growing up. He would tell us to concentrate on the nose-the scent of the wine- and try to pick out the things we could recognize. It made the flavor experience more intense, trying to figure out what scent correlated with the taste," Maedhros explained. "My father shared his passion for wine and I suppose it just naturally passed on to me."

"I hope I'm able to appreciate it properly," Fingon said.

"That's why I picked this one-it's approachable, rich in flavor, but not too dry." Maedhros' smile became brighter. "Basically it goes down easy."

"I'll keep that in mind," Fingon said, unable to take his eyes off Maedhros when he smiled like that, the wine bottle forgotten in his hands.

The timer went off and Maedhros was suddenly a flurry of activity-pulling pans off the stove, sprinting to the patio, returning with the steaks. "You open the wine and I'll get the food plated. Bottle opener is on the counter behind you." Maedhros motioned to the far counter with a free hand.

Fingon managed to get the wine open without breaking the cork. He followed Maedhros into the dining room, bottle in hand. It was a large room; two place settings had already been set at the far end of the massive table.

Maedhros set the plates he was holding down and took the bottle from Fingon, pouring wine into the two glasses. He took one, swirled it, tasted it and then set it back on the table."Sit. I'll get the other plates and be right back."

"This looks amazing," Fingon said, when Maedhros returned with the main course. The plates were artfully arranged-the steak resting on the chestnut puree, sauce drizzled in an abstract pattern on the plate and the green beans artfully criss-crossed.

"So I'm getting a good score on presentation then?" Maedhros asked, sliding into the seat next to him.

"Definitely."

Maedhros lifted his glass and met Fingon's gaze. "Cheers. I'm glad I got the chance to cook for you."

Fingon raised his glass and gently clinked Maedhros'. "I hope it's just the first of many times."

"You haven't even tasted the food yet," Maedhros pointed out but he reached to take Fingon's hand. He laced their fingers together gently and his face grew serious. "Thank you for coming out here today. You've no idea how much it means to me."

"There's nowhere I'd rather be," Fingon answered. They both took a sip of wine. "This is good," Fingon said, sounding somewhat surprised.

"I'm glad you like it but you should try the food and see if you'll ever let me cook for you again," Maedhros said.

Every bite was sublime. Fingon could have been at any one of Tirion's top restaurants. "I'm considering trading Finrod out for you," Fingon said, then flushed as he realized how his words must have sounded.

But Maedhros just laughed. "I'd rather not commute from Tirion but thank you for the offer. We've got enough extra rooms so maybe you could just stay here if you like the food that much," His eyes sparkled with amusement as he continued. "But be warned-I don't cook like this every night-and we all take turns. You'll likely regret your decision when you taste Maglor's cooking."

"You'd probably get sick of always eating pasta if I had to take a turn," Fingon said gloomily.

"It's still likely better than Maglor. He gets distracted easily so everything is either burned or undercooked," Maedhros said. He pushed back his chair. "Have another glass of wine. I've got to get the dessert out of the oven."

Maedhros leaned against the counter as he waited for the lava cakes to finish baking. It was good to have a minute to himself. Cooking was usually very relaxing for him but today had not been a typical day by any means and he really wanted this meal to be perfect for Fingon.

It seemed he wasn't alone in having issues. His heart went out to Fingon but a small part of him breathed a little easier knowing that they shared this similarity as well. He shook his head as he thought about how straightforward Fingon was and how challenging it had been for him to tell Fingon even the most basic part of his story. But he had done it. Somehow Fingon's determination and openness had let Maedhros take that step. It was a start. He didn't feel good about the fact that he was not being completely honest. He was still learning to trust Fingon though, more than he'd ever trusted anyone outside the family, other than Azaghâl.

Fingon poured himself a generous portion of wine. His face was still flushed and

the wine likely wasn't going to make that any better. He hadn't even had that much to drink yet and his mouth was already running away from him.

Still he couldn't keep the smile off his face. It had been hellish for awhile today but overall it was going far better than he had expected, aside from his panic attack on the ice and the aftermath of that. Maedhros had trusted him enough to finally open up. Braving the ice was worth it just for that.

Maedhros soon returned with the chocolate dessert he had been concocting earlier. "Best to eat it warm, before the ice cream melts."

Fingon took a bite, closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of his chair. "This is incredible. You could be on one of those shows, you know."

Maedhros laughed again. "It's just a hobby," he said. "I find it relaxing to cook." He had a very fond expression on his face, his silver eyes focused on Fingon and a small smile on his lips. He leaned his head on his hand and watched Fingon eat. "I'm glad the meal lived up to your expectations."

"Surpassed them," Fingon mumbled around his last bite of cake. He drained his wine glass and leaned back in his chair. "I'm practically in a food coma."

"It's too early to fall asleep," Maedhros said, checking his watch. "It's not even eight o'clock." He stood up and picked up the plates nearest him. "I'll clean up."

Fingon pushed his chair back. "Absolutely not. You cooked. The least I can do is clean up."

They cleaned up together, the table first and then the kitchen, Fingon relishing the comfortable domesticity of the moment. He felt a tug in his chest as he leaned against the counter, watching Maedhros start the dishwasher. He moved behind Maedhros and wrapped his arms around him, resting his head on his back. He wanted this-this closeness, this domesticity, these easy comfortable moments. He could see himself coming home to this every night and oh did he want that.

"Thank you," he mumbled into the fabric of Maedhros' shirt. He felt Maedhros' hands come to rest on his and a small sigh escaped the taller man as he turned in his arms and they stood together, Fingon's head resting on his shoulder. Lips brushed Fingon's forehead and he looked up.

"You're welcome. It was fun to cook for you-you're far more appreciative and helpful than my brothers," Maedhros said. "Do you want to head back to the fire or do something else?"

"I'll fall asleep if I sit by the fire, after all that food," Fingon confided. And it was quite likely that at least one of Maedhros' brothers would be coming home sooner rather than later. He didn't want a repeat of the scene in his apartment from a few weeks ago. Better to play it safe. He looked up at Maedhros with a bright expression. "I'm not ready to go to sleep yet. Should we try the game room instead?"

"Pool or darts?" Maedhros asked.

"Pinball. I haven't seen one of those in years."

"You're on."

They had moved from pinball, to darts, to pool over the next few hours. It was nearly ten o'clock when they heard voices in the kitchen. Moments later Tyelko and Aredhel walked into the room.

"Finno!" Aredhel was in Fingon's arms. "Tyelko said you'd be here." She beamed up at him, her eyes sparkling. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her hair.

"Hey, Fingon," Tyelko said, nodding at him and then turning his eyes to his older brother questioningly. Fingon saw Maedhros give him a small nod and a smile and Tyelko's whole face lit up, as he appeared to receive the answer he was looking for from his silent question.

Aredhel tugged on Fingon's arm and he reluctantly pulled his gaze away from the brothers. "This is perfect, Finno. I told Mom I was staying with you tonight."

"What?" Fingon whipped his head down to look at her. "But I'm not in Tirion tonight. You can't stay at my place."

Aredhel grinned. "I know. But technically I didn't lie to her. I told her I was staying with you tonight but I didn't say where." She raised her eyebrows at him and her grin got even wider.

He narrowed his eyes at her. "What do you mean?"

"I mean we're both staying here tonight so I told Mom the truth-I am staying with you," Aredhel looked pleased with her logic.

"You're staying here?" Fingon repeated.

"Well, of course I am. Tyelko and I had dinner in Formenos. The roads are awful-it's a blizzard out there-and the trains aren't running at this time. I'm not going to let him drive me home and then drive back on these roads." She got that stubborn look that was all too familiar to Fingon. "You certainly aren't letting Maedhros drive you back in this."

"Leave me out of this," Fingon said, lowering his voice. He glanced at Maedhros and Tyelko but they appeared to be deep in quiet conversation themselves. "You can't spend the night here. You barely know him!" he whispered.

"Give me a break, Fingon. I can spend the night wherever I please. I don't need you bossing me around. If I choose to spend the night here that's my decision. If I choose to spend the night with Tyelko, that's my decision too. I don't see where you get any say in it."

"You've dragged me into this by telling Mom you're with me, so I most certainly get a say in this," Fingon whispered back, a stubborn look that matched her own on his face now. They silently glared at each other.

Maedhros broke the silence, speaking from across the room. "Tyelko says the roads are awful. Looks like that snowstorm they were warning us about all week finally came." He looked from Aredhel to Fingon, taking in their nearly identical stormy expressions. "I think you two should stay here for the night. Roads should be better in the morning, once the plows come out, and I can drive you both home." He paused, giving Tyelko a sidelong look before continuing. "We've more than enough spare rooms here so don't worry about it at all. We'll get you settled in no time."

Fingon felt a strange mixture of frustration and relief at his words. Aredhel's arrival had scuttled any plans he might have been contemplating for one-on-one time with Maedhros in surroundings that were familiar to his host, but it had also effectively put a stop to any plans Aredhel might have had to find herself in Tyelko's bed.

She tossed her head and smiled at Maedhros. "That sounds perfect."

This wasn't quite how Fingon had planned to broach the subject of spending the night but it would have to do. It was kind of Maedhros to offer to let them stay; there was no way Fingon was going to push the issue of someone driving Aredhel home, not if the roads were unsafe. If he insisted on her going home he would have to go home himself, to be consistent, and that had not been part of his plan for tonight.

"Thank you Maedhros, Tyelko. It's kind of you to offer. Sorry we're taking advantage of your hospitality," Fingon said, looking at Maedhros as he spoke.

Maedhros smiled back. "It's no bother really. The house is more than big enough and we've rooms to spare." He raised his eyebrows at Aredhel. "You and Tyelko ready to take us on in eight ball or are you tired?"

"I'm never too tired to play," Aredhel said. "You're on!"

Maglor found them all in the game room when he came home an hour later. It had taken him almost twice as long as usual to drive home from Tirion and he had the advantage of a four wheel drive car. The plows had not been keeping up with the snowfall and the roads had been treacherous. He was exhausted. His mood was not improved at finding the four of them gathered around the pool table, loudly arguing about Tyelko's last shot, when he arrived home. He had really been looking forward to sitting quietly by the fire, warming up and listening to some music. He'd assumed Maedhros would have left with Fingon earlier, to beat the snow and forestall any attempt at spending the night. It seemed he had been incorrect.

"I'm home," he announced, leaning against the doorway to the game room, his eyes moving over the two couples intently.

"How'd the recitals go?" Maedhros asked, coming near to him.

"Tolerable. Some of the undergrads have a modicum of talent," Maglor responded.

"You remember Fingon and Aredhel," Maedhros reminded him. They nodded at him from across the room.

"I remember. Good to see you again," Maglor said, nodding back at them, his tone a little grumpier than Maedhros expected.

"The roads bad?" Maedhros asked.

"Horrible."

"That's what Tyelko said. I told Aredhel and Fingon they should stay here tonight. I'd rather not drive back and forth to Tirion in this weather," Maedhros said.

"Makes sense." Maglor looked at him closely. "Everything ok?" he asked in a low voice, as the conversation between the others resumed. Maedhros seemed uncharacteristically at ease with the concept of overnight guests.

His older brother smiled. "It's all good," he said reassuringly.

Maglor gave him a searching look. "You mean that?"

Maedhros gripped his brother's shoulder. "I do. It's fine. Really."

Maglor nodded at him, his face still registering concern. "If you say so. I'm going to bed. I'm beat."

"Go get some rest and I'll see you in the morning," Maedhros said.

"Sounds good," Maglor said, then raised his voice to the others. "Good night-I'll be better company in the morning, promise."

"You're always grumpy in the morning too," Tyelko said, grinning at his older brother.

"Shut up, Tyelko," Maglor said as he left the room.

They finished their game, Tyelko and Aredhel still disputing Fingon's call on the last shot, even though the shot was clearly good.

"Tyelko, come help me get the rooms ready," Maedhros said.

"Don't bother, Maedhros-just give us some sheets and Aredhel and I can take care of the rooms ourselves," Fingon offered.

"No worries," Maedhros said. "It'll only take us a few minutes." He nodded at Tyelko, who followed him up the stairs.

Tyelko matched his steps to Maedhros'. "I tried to stay away as long as I could, Mae. I'd have driven Aredhel back to Tirion if the roads weren't absolute shit," Tyelko said, then made a frustrated sound. "Damn. I probably should have driven her back and just stayed in Tirion with Mom and Dad tonight. Sorry, I didn't even think of it." Tyelko shook his head, exasperated with himself. "I know it's awkward having Aredhel here."

"It's fine, Tyelko. I knew you were coming home tonight." Maedhros pulled linens out of the hallway closet and Tyelko followed him down the hall.

"But you weren't expecting me to bring Aredhel along. Or have her spend the night. I should have texted you a heads up but I didn't even think about it." Tyeko's frown deepened. "Sorry to be such an idiot. I guess I thought you'd probably have already taken Fingon home, trying to avoid something like this happening."

Maedhros paused in the doorway of the first spare room and looked at his brother. "Tyelko, it's fine."

"Did you talk to him? Things ok? I mean you both look like you're getting along . . . but him spending the night here? Are you really going to be ok with that, Mae?" The concern was evident of Tyelko's face.

Maedhros nodded. "I talked to him. I told him . . . well, not the whole thing . . . but he knows about the nightmares and about me clocking you and Maglor in the head."

"You told him?" Maedhros and the linens found themselves tackled in an exuberant hug. "Good for you, Mae! I knew you could do it." Tyelko pulled back. "I told you it wouldn't faze him, didn't I?"

Maedhros sighed, but was unable to keep a small smile off his face. "Is this where I'm supposed to admit you were right?"

Tyelko grinned. "It does happen on occasion, you know. And now I get to say I told you so."

"You already did," Maedhros pointed out, starting to pull the sheets on the bed.

"Never can say it enough, when it comes to you, Mae," Tyelko smirked as he helped make the bed. "So, if you've told him then why are we getting the spare rooms ready?" He looked at Maedhros with an innocent expression on his face.

"What?" Maedhros looked at him sharply.

"Well, if he knows and isn't fazed by it, aren't you going to let him sleep in your room. OW!" Tyelko exclaimed as a pillow hit him across the face.

"I've told him about it but that doesn't change the risk he would take being in my room, Tyelko, you know that as well as I do. He may be aware of what to expect now but I'm certainly not going to just jump into bed with him tonight, in a house full of people, with his sister here, and risk anything happening. I'll cross that bridge when the time is right and I'd advise you to do the same." Maedhros was glaring at him now. "You better keep your ass in your room tonight,Tyelko, and not make any 'excursions' to this end of the hallway. Stay out of Aredhel's room!"

"Valar above, Mae, did you really think I was going to try and get it on with Aredhel with her brother in the next room?"

"Well, the thought did cross my mind. You certainly seemed to think I was going to," Maedhros retorted.

Tyelko's face was serious now. "It's not like that with her, Mae. I really don't want to mess this up by moving too fast."

Maedhros knew that look. Tyelko wasn't kidding. Seems he'd fallen hard too.

Tyelko shoved him. "You're losing your sense of humor, Mae. I was just kidding about Fingon." He gave Maedhros another bright grin. "But I'm sure it's only a matter of time now that you've told him. I've seen how you two look at each other." He was able to dodge the pillow flung in his direction this time.

Aredhel and Fingon were engaged in a similar conversation downstairs.

"Once we get up there I expect you to stay in your room!" Fingon ordered Aredhel.

She rolled her eyes at him. "Give me a break, Finno. I told you weeks ago I wasn't going to sleep with him right away and I meant it. That doesn't mean I don't want to have a little bit of fun. You're being such a spoilsport." She crossed her arms on her chest and looked at him appraisingly. "Don't tell me you wouldn't like a little time by yourself with Maedhros?" She leaned back against the wall behind her. "You're telling me you aren't going to sneak into his room tonight, at least for a little while?"

"I am not," Fingon said, truthfully. There was no way, with what Maedhros had told him today, that he would ever consider doing that but Aredhel didn't need to know his reasons. "I'm perfectly comfortable taking things slow with Maedhros and I wouldn't do anything like that with you and all his brothers here! I'd advise you to do the same."

Aredhel exhaled and rolled her eyes again. "Seriously, Finno. When did you get so boring?"

He was about to respond but heard Tyelko and Maedhros' voices. He contented himself with glaring at her but composed his face by the time the brothers walked in again.

"Rooms are ready but you don't have to head to bed yet if you aren't ready," Maedhros said. "We can keep going here." He looked at his watch. "Or we could watch a movie, if you guys are up for it?"

The four of them found themselves sprawled on the two large sofas in the family room, watching a movie until sometime after one in the morning. Fingon fell asleep long before it ended, his head on Maedhros' shoulder. Tyelko had fallen asleep with his head in Aredhel's lap; she had been stroking his disheveled hair while he was still awake and he had soon drifted off.

She turned to look across the room at Maedhros as the credits rolled by. "My brother really likes you," she said quietly.

He met her eyes. "I really care for him too," he said. Maedhros tilted his head as he looked at her. "I should tell you my brother really likes you too."

She regarded him seriously for a moment before speaking again. "I've never seen Fingon like this about anyone." Her eyes narrowed. "Don't you dare break his heart."

Maedhros felt the chill of her gaze but he kept his eyes steadily on her. "I've no intention of doing that. I told you I care about him too." He paused and regarded her coolly. "I'd ask you to have the same consideration for my brother. He gives his heart quite easily, I'll have you know. I'd hate to see him hurt."

She looked down at Tyelko fondly and continued to gently stroke his hair. "I've no intention of doing that," she said, echoing his words. She looked up at him, a small smile on her face now. "As long as we understand each other."

"I believe we do."

Her smile grew broader. "Then we'd best get these two to bed, don't you think?"

He nodded and gently prodded Fingon, who groaned and sat up, blinking at him. Aredhel elicited much the same reaction from Tyelko but soon the four of them were making their way up the stairs to the second floor.

Maedhros led the way down the hall and stopped in front of an open door. "Aredhel, I've got you here. Fingon's next door. These two rooms share a bathroom between-I hope that's ok." He grinned at her. "I assume you've shared before."

She laughed. "Unfortunately yes, but at least this time it's only for one night." She leaned in towards Tyelko and gave him a quick kiss. "I'll see you in the morning. I can't wait to go out in the snow!"

Tyelko put his arms around her. "G'night," he mumbled as he kissed her back, then made his way down the other end of the hallway, headed to his bedroom.

Fingon gave Aredhel a look as she made her way into her room. "Yes, Finno, I got it. Go to bed!" she said, shutting the door behind her.

Maedhros pulled him to the next room and opened the door. He put his arms around Fingon and gave him a quick kiss on the forehead.

"Well, there went my chance to try my familiar surroundings plan," Fingon mumbled. He looked up at Maedhros. "And now my sister's next door so I've no chance of convincing you to stay here, do I?"

"None at all. I made Tyelko promise to stay in his room so I've got to do the same," Maedhros said, looking amused.

"Told Aredhel the same thing." He went up on tiptoe and placed a kiss on Maedhros' lips. "I meant what I said earlier. We can work through this. Not tonight, obviously, but you know what I mean," Fingon said.

"I do know what you mean," Maedhros said, looking thoughtful. "I can try, that's about all I can say, Fingon. I can try. But I really don't want to risk anything happening to you," he said, his voice deepening with suppressed emotion.

"I'm willing to risk it. I know what to watch out for and so do you." He combed a strand of Maedhros' hair back gently. "We can do this. Trust me."

Maedhros breath stuttered for a minute and then he whispered "I do trust you." He leaned down and kissed Fingon, tightened his arms around him briefly and then stepped back. "Ok, I've got to go or I'll never leave."

Fingon put his hand on Maedhros' chest. "I'll see you in the morning. Thank you again, for everything." He watched Maedhros pull the door shut behind him.

He was asleep moments after his head hit the pillow.

It took Maedhros quite a bit longer to fall asleep. He hadn't dared to let himself feel hope like this. It made his heart race. Maybe Fingon was right. Maybe they could work this through together.

 




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