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

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Author's Chapter Notes:

Maedhros and Fingon have a much needed conversation. This chapter is long and it's just the two of them. Many thanks to my steadfast beta Cheekybeak.


Maedhros had been uncharacteristically quiet when he picked Fingon up that evening and he had not said much through dinner either. He seemed preoccupied, almost distracted; Fingon couldn't clearly identify what was occupying his thoughts, but he suspected it was the events from earlier in the day. He had repeatedly assured Maedhros that Turgon was fine, his nose not broken and the bruising minimal at best. Even that hadn't seemed to help much.

Somehow, they made it through dinner, though Fingon was exhausted from his unsuccessful conversational efforts by the end of it. They had all consistently fallen flat this time, Maedhros' responses halfhearted at best. There were moments when Fingon had the feeling that Maedhros wanted to say something but was holding back. There would be a pause and he would lean forward—and then nothing. Maybe he would be more candid in private. Restaurants were not the best place for serious conversations.

But to his surprise Maedhros initially resisted Fingon's suggestion that they watch a movie at his apartment.

"I should just go home," he said.

"It's early still," Fingon said, grasping his arm tightly as they walked to Maedhros' car after dinner.

Finding a parking spot right in front of Fingon's apartment building made it easier to convince Maedhros to at least come upstairs for a drink.

Finrod had left for Alqualondë earlier in the day so it would just be the two of them, no risk of interruptions. Much as Fingon was starting to enjoy the camaraderie and verbal sparring of Tyelko and Maglor he was glad to finally have Maedhros completely to himself tonight, even if his mood was still somber.

He gave Maedhros one of the few good bottles of beer that still remained in his neglected refrigerator and at Fingon's suggestion they curled up to watch a movie together on the sofa. Maedhros' arm slipped around him and eventually his head relaxed to rest on his. He didn't say anything, just leaned into him. This was more like it, Fingon thought, content for the moment at their closeness. Maedhros would talk to him when he was ready, he was sure of it.

This night had been so uncomfortable, Maedhros thought. It had all seemed so straightforward, when he was in his room at home earlier today. But it wasn't easy trying to find a way to start talking about it. He had thought of a number of things to say but none of them seemed right anymore and all of them were definitely awkward. As the minutes ticked by his resolve to say anything at all began to wane. Maybe it wasn't the night to do it. Maybe when they were together back in Formenos. He felt a twinge of uneasiness at that train of thought. That wasn't what he needed to do. He had held off speaking about it for long enough. It was past time to tell Fingon the whole story. But where to start? How to start?

"Will you stay?" Fingon whispered to Maedhros, as the credits rolled on the screen in front of them.

"No, I probably shouldn't." Maedhros said, sitting up. Now that an excuse for leaving had presented itself he found himself reaching for it. Coward, he berated himself, even as he continued to speak to Fingon. "I'm sure they're expecting me at home." Likely, but not something a text to Maglor wouldn't solve. Why couldn't he do this?

Fingon knew Maedhros had reservations about sleeping away from the familiar environment of his own home, his own bedroom. But surely they had made some progress this week, hadn't they? That had to mean something. Fingon chewed his lower lip as he thought. No. He wasn't being fair. He had promised himself he wouldn't press the issue and here he was, doing just the opposite. He knew what a sensitive subject this was for Maedhros, he knew that today had been a horrible day, likely bringing up triggering memories again. Yet here he was, pressuring him once more. He needed to stop, change direction.

"Maedhros," Fingon touched his arm. "What I mean is there's no need to go yet." He moved closer to him, curving his arm around him and laying his head on Maedhros' shoulder. "It's Winter Break. It's Sunday tomorrow. I have no plans and I know the bookstore doesn't open until noon." He pressed even closer. "Don't go just yet. I've gotten used to being with you. And it isn't even ten o'clock." He snuggled up to Maedhros' side. "Watch another movie with me and let's just be together." He leaned in and kissed him softly.

Maedhros' lips melted into Fingon's. He didn't want to leave. He wasn't sure he should stay. He was so muddled right now; everything had been so right yesterday but today. . . today had started so well but it certainly had gone rapidly downhill from there.

But it wouldn't hurt to stay a little longer, would it? He had gotten used to the warmth of Fingon's body against his, the sound of his breathing at night, hearing his heartbeat as they lay together. He rested his head on Fingon's and relaxed against him. "I'd like that," he finally said.

Maedhros had curled up on his side partway through the second movie and Fingon had suggested he use his thigh as a pillow. Surprisingly, Maedhros had agreed and Fingon had been combing his fingers through that dark red hair for the last hour, feeling him slowly relax. Fingon hadn't seen this movie before but he found he couldn't really concentrate on it—too many other thoughts were running through his head.

Maedhros' head rested in Fingon's lap. He had stopped paying attention to the movie a while ago. Maedhros let the images just flash on the screen in front of him as Fingon gently ran his fingers through his hair. It felt so good. It was the most soothing thing that had happened to him all day. His eyelids started to drift closed and he forced them open. He shouldn't fall asleep, he told himself, as Fingon's light touch skimmed his hair again, the repetitive motion so comforting. Don't fall asleep, Maedhros thought, but he couldn't quite remember why he shouldn't. His eyelids felt so heavy, it wouldn't hurt to close them for just a minute. Just a minute. No longer than that. . .

Fingon dragged his fingers through Maedhros' hair again. He could feel the tension slowly draining out of Maedhros, his shoulders slumping, his fist unclenching and his breathing becoming slow and steady. At least this movie was distracting him, letting Maedhros stop thinking for a bit.

Something had happened today on the field. Fingon had been turning it over in his mind all day. He had seen how Maedhros' brothers had responded; they had known something was going to happen as soon as Turgon tackled Maedhros. They had expected a response like that. Why? They knew what had set Maedhros off but they had all closed ranks, even Maedhros.

Maedhros had not been himself tonight. He had been much quieter and far more distracted than he had been any time before. This had to tie in with the nightmares. Fingon had refrained from asking too many questions, had been very careful about prying, wanting Maedhros to open up on his own, without putting undue pressure on him. It was getting harder not to ask though.

He kept his fingers sliding through Maedhros' hair but eventually he realized the pressure in his bladder needed to be relieved. This was the most relaxed Maedhros had been all evening. He hated to say anything-he was sure Maedhros would just take the interruption as an opportunity to leave. It was not surprising he wasn't saying much-he'd been like this most of the night. Perhaps the movie had been the best way to take his mind off things.

Fingon leaned down, gently squeezing his shoulder. "Maedhros, sorry but I need to get up. Too many beers earlier, I guess." It never crossed his mind that Maedhros might have fallen asleep. He was so careful about things like that-Fingon hadn't even sensed it.

But Maedhros had fallen asleep and Fingon's words did not have the effect he anticipated.

He did not expect Maedhros to spring up off his lap, spin around on the sofa to pin him down, one arm hard across his chest and the other hand gripping at his throat. Fingon stared into his blank silver eyes for a few seconds and then realization came into Maedhros' face and he fell back, grabbing his head in his hands and repeating "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," over and over again.

Fingon took a couple of deep breaths and willed his heart rate to slow down. This was what Maedhros had been fearing all this time, a reaction like that. He never would have startled him if he had known he was asleep. Fingon cursed himself-he had promised to be alert, to be cautious, he had told Maedhros he would take every precaution but he had let his guard down and by doing that he had let him down.

He would have to make it up to him. Maedhros would be expecting him to be scared, angry, upset. But he wasn't. He was startled, shaken, a tight sensation in his chest and throat. His heart was racing. But he realized he'd been anticipating something like this happening all week. He took another deep breath and blew it out. This was just one more facet of the nightmares that Maedhros suffered and if Fingon was going to share his bed and his life he better get used to every manifestation of it. It had surprised him but he had no one to blame but himself.

"Hey." Fingon said, sitting up next to him. "Maedhros." He repeated his name when he didn't respond. "Maedhros, look at me." He put his hand firmly on his knee, where he knew Maedhros could see it, and squeezed. "Look at me."

Maedhros looked up then, his eyes red-rimmed and his face anguished.

"Maedhros. You have to talk to me. You haven't been yourself all night." Fingon moved closer and laid his hand on Maedhros' shoulder, feeling him shudder at his touch. "Maedhros. Please." He very gently put his arms around him and laid his head on his shoulder. "You haven't been yourself since the thing with Turgon." He closed his eyes. "Please talk to me."

Maedhros let out a shuddering breath and kept his head in his hands. Fingon held him, not speaking, just letting him know he was there. Eventually Maedhros started to speak, so quietly that Fingon had to lean in to hear him.

"This is what I told you would happen. I told you it wasn't safe to be around me. I thought it was working, you knowing what to expect." His voice was raw with emotion, hoarse and rough. "I can't believe I let myself fall asleep, I never do that, I know better than that." He rocked back and forth in Fingon's arms.

"Stop," Fingon said. "Don't say that. You've had a shitty day. You fell asleep. These things happen. Stop blaming yourself for that. I should have known better than to startle you. You warned me, you told me what not to do and I didn't listen." He rubbed circles on Maedhros' back, slow and soothing. "But I know the nightmares aren't the whole story, Maedhros."

"I should have told you before. It's stupid and I don't know why it still affects me. I can't help it. It's just never gone away. I keep thinking it will get better, that it will just fade away but it doesn't. Something triggers it and I'm back there," Maedhros whispered, his hands clenched into fists, resting on his knees.

"What happened, Maedhros? Triggers what?"

Maedhros turned to face Fingon, his face pale and his eyes flat. "You remember you talked about the case? When we first met? My grandfather's wrongful death suit?"

Fingon felt a cold shiver down his spine. "Yes. I felt like an idiot for bringing it up. I know it bothered you." He had suspected all along that all of this had something to do with Maedhros' grandfather. He always became withdrawn when the subject came up.

"You weren't an idiot and I probably should have said something then." Maedhros ran a hand through his hair. "The thing is there was something that happened that wasn't in the news, that didn't get in the papers. Something that made Morgoth Industries settle the suit out of court."

"What was that?" Fingon felt his stomach clench in anticipation. "Maedhros?" Moments of silence stretched out between them until Maedhros slowly started speaking again.

Maedhros' hands were covering his face once more, his words coming out slightly muffled but still clear enough for Fingon to understand. "The trucking company whose driver hit my grandfather was a subsidiary of Morgoth Industries. The lawsuit named all of them, subsidiaries on up to the parent company." He paused to take a deep breath. "They didn't like the bad publicity but they weren't willing to settle. They threatened my father. He didn't take it seriously—who would?" His hands fell into his lap and he looked up at Fingon, his eyes clouded over.

It took him a few moments to resume speaking. "Then the letters started coming to the house, threatening to burn the house down, to hurt my mom, to hurt us. They couldn't trace them but the attorneys thought it likely was coming from someone Morgoth had hired to shut my father up."

"Maedhros," Fingon breathed. He took Maedhros' hands in his own, rubbing his thumbs over the backs of them.

"Mom moved everyone to Formenos, to get away from the Tirion house. Maglor and I were at Cuivienen by then so we just stayed where we were." He took a deep breath and looked at Fingon. "I used to like to run on campus. I'd go from my apartment, across the park and then loop around to circle back to my place. I ran the same route three times a week. One afternoon I went out a little later than usual. It wasn't dark yet and I knew I'd be home before sundown."

He looked down at his hands and then back up at Fingon. "I always listened to music when I went for a run. I was just past the park and about to cross the road when a van came out of nowhere and pulled up right in front of me, blocking the crosswalk. There's not much traffic by that section of the park so it surprised me. I stopped and went to run around the back of it, to cross the street and keep going."

He took a deep breath and Fingon put a hand on his back again, warm and solid. "But then the side door opened and two guys just jumped out, right in front of me. That. . . That freaked me out. I turned around . . . but suddenly everything went dark. . . someone grabbed me from behind and pinned my arms behind my back."

A vision of Turgon tackling Maedhros and pinning his arms behind his back came to Fingon. "Oh, Maedhros," he said.

"I didn't hear the guy behind me because I had the stupid earbuds in. He put a bag over my head, I couldn't see and he pinned my arms and started dragging me over to the van." He swallowed and Fingon's free hand squeezed his in sympathy. "I just freaked out. I started flailing and kicking and trying to get my arms free. I don't even know what I was yelling. I just fought him off as hard as I could but I couldn't see anything. I think. . . I think I knocked the earbuds out then because suddenly I could hear them." The words were tumbling out now, his previous reluctance overshadowed by the need to get this out, the sentences running into each other as he spoke.

He looked at Fingon bleakly. "I could hear them swearing and yelling at each other to get me in the van. One of the other guys must have come over because I felt someone trying to grab my legs." Maedhros' grip on his hand was painful but Fingon didn't flinch.

"The guy behind me kept saying things in my ear, things they were going to do to me in the van and at the place they were going to take me." Maedhros closed his eyes briefly then opened them to look at Fingon. "I went nuts. There were three of them but I was fighting so hard they couldn't get me in the van. The hood thing they had over my head fell off and I could see them."

He took another breath and then exhaled it. "I must have hit the guy behind me pretty hard with my head because I got my arms free. I was crazed—I just reached out and got the guy in front of me in a chokehold. But the other two still had a hold of me and we all went down."

"I didn't even realize my right shoulder dislocated when I fell. I didn't even feel it, I just lost my grip on him but I kept thrashing around, trying to get loose. Then someone must have hit me in the head because everything went dark." Maedhros closed his eyes and Fingon felt a shudder go through him.

He kept his hand on Maedhros' back, a gentle repetitive motion. It was as much to calm himself as it was to soothe Maedhros. It wasn't long before Maedhros spoke again, his voice husky and low. "I woke up in the van. They had the hood thing on me again and my hands were tied behind my back. My shoulder was on fire, but there was nothing I could do about it."

"Oh, Maedhros." Fingon kept rubbing his back, unsure what else to do. This was so much worse than he had expected. He hadn't known what to expect but this . . . this was far beyond what he had imagined.

"They took me to some storage facility or something. I don't know how long I was there. Hours I guess. My head hurt, my shoulder hurt. I couldn't see anything, with the stupid hood thing on me still. Only one of them talked to me, the guy who jumped me from behind." Maedhros shivered as he spoke. "I knew his voice, he was the only one who had talked to me directly before." He shuddered again. "He kept talking about how boring it was going to be, waiting to hear from my dad. How maybe they'd have to entertain themselves. Maybe I'd have to provide the entertainment." Maedhros head dropped down as another shudder went through him. "I can still hear his voice sometimes, the things he said they'd do. And I couldn't do anything to stop them if they tried. Hands tied, legs tied, a dislocated shoulder and not able to see. I was completely helpless."

Fingon didn't want to hear more, didn't want to know what else had happened to him. But Maedhros, now that he had started, kept on going.

"I owe it all to Az. I don't know what would have happened if he hadn't been there. He was riding his bike in the park and saw it happen, just didn't get close enough in time to stop them. He called the police, gave them a description of the van, the license plate number. I didn't even know until later."

Maedhros' hand clenched into a fist, Fingon's fingers curling around it as he maintained the contact. "They traced the van right away and they found me a few hours after that." He raised his head to look at Fingon. "I'm lucky, you know. If I really let myself think about it—it could have been so much worse. I ended up with a concussion, a dislocated shoulder and a lot of bumps and bruises." He paused and looked down again, his voice dropping to a whisper. "But somehow I still can't get it out of my head."

"I can't believe I don't remember hearing about this. How did they find you?" Fingon's hand moved up to gently stroke Maedhros' hair off his face.

"They were stupid enough to use a company van. They traced it back to Morgoth Industries when they ran the license plate number. That's why the police thought to look for me at Angband. The guys were just criminals hired for the job so they ratted them out for a lesser sentence. It never got in the news and your dad's firm used the incident to get Morgoth to settle the whole thing and then some."

Maedhros shrugged. "We were supposed to be under police protection when it happened-the Tirion police department was pretty keen on the story not making it to the media. Cuvienien felt the same way. A kidnapping on campus wasn't the kind of publicity they wanted." Maedhros' shoulders sagged. "So now you know. It's been four years now but I still can't shake it."

"What happened after?" Fingon asked quietly.

"I was in the hospital for a few days." He regarded Fingon, his jaw clenching. "You know what I'm like. You've seen the nightmares. You've seen how paranoid I am about parking. You saw how I freaked out on Turgon today and then on you just now." He pulled his hands away and buried his face in them again. "I'm so sorry. I would never hurt you, you have to know that, Fingon. I was just startled when you woke me up . . ."

Fingon reached out and wrapped his arms around Maedhros again. "I know that. I know you didn't mean it, not this morning with Turgon and not now either. I should have known better—I startled you tonight. You couldn't help yourself, I realize that, Maedhros."

"This is what I was afraid of, what I did tonight. That's why I never wanted to stay, why I didn't want you to stay." He grimaced, then covered his face with his hands once more. "I thought I was doing better, really I did. I don't know what came over me tonight—I never let myself fall asleep like that."

"I know," Fingon said soothingly. "I know."

"I didn't want to risk hurting you and now I've done it anyway. I should have left hours ago. I never should have let myself fall asleep." Maedhros mumbled into his hands.

"Maedhros. Look at me," Fingon whispered. "Look at me. I'm fine. You didn't hurt me." He leaned into him. "I know you would never hurt me." He stroked Maedhros' hair. "Look at me," he repeated.

Maedhros looked at him and Fingon could see the desolation in his face. "You were going to have to tell me sometime. There was no way we could keep going without you telling me." He met Maedhros' eyes, his gaze strong and steady. "I'm glad you fell asleep here tonight. I'm relieved it finally happened—now you won't have to worry about it anymore—it's happened and we can move on." Fingon reached out to cup Maedhros' face with his hand. "I'm in this for the long-term, Maedhros. I want to be with you. But we can't make it work if we keep things from each other." Fingon's voice was low and gentle. "This was bound to happen, sometime. I'm just thankful it happened now, here, when it's just the two of us."

He kept his gaze on Maedhros. "All I know is what happened in the past is in the past. What truly matters to me is a future that has us together. I don't care where you park. I don't care if you won't run outside. I don't care if you wake up like a maniac. I don't care about any of that."

"All I know is that I want to be with you and it's been killing me to think I can't be with you the way I want to . . . because I'm afraid of waking up in bed with you and lashing out." Maedhros said, his eyes intently fixed on Fingon's.

"You don't have to worry about that anymore. It doesn't matter if you do or not. All I care about is being with you. I can handle all the other stuff. You can handle it. With time, it may even get better, but if it doesn't I don't care. I love you, Maedhros. Just the way you are." He had said it. He'd been nervous before but it just came out this time. He loved Maedhros. Fingon hadn't even needed to think about it because it was true. "I love you," he repeated. "I should have told you before now."

"I love you," Maedhros said, his rigid back muscles finally relaxing under Fingon's hand. "Everything about you, but most of all because I can be myself with you." It was true. He loved Fingon. He had said it to himself so many times over the last few days, had said it when Fingon was asleep, had whispered it into his skin. It was such a relief to finally say it out loud.

"I love you," Fingon said again. "For so many reasons." He stretched his neck up to kiss him. Maedhros shifted and then his hands were in his hair, his lips were on Fingon's, his tongue was pushing past them to touch Fingon's own.

Fingon leaned back on the sofa, Maedhros following him down, lying on top of Fingon as they kissed again and again.

Fingon wasn't sure how much time had passed before Maedhros pulled back, a puzzled look on his face. "Why did you wake me up anyway?"

Fingon laughed. "I had to go to the bathroom and you were laying right on me. I told you, I didn't think you were asleep." He smiled up at Maedhros. "Now that I think of it, I never actually got to take a piss after all."

Maedhros dropped his head on Fingon's shoulder. "Are you asking me to get off of you so you can go?"

"Yes, but reluctantly. Just don't go anywhere. I'll be right back. Promise."

Maedhros sat up on the sofa and leaned his head back, relaxing into the comfort of the cushions. This was not how he had envisioned telling Fingon the truth behind the nightmares. It was actually about a hundred times worse than any of the scenarios that had run through his head earlier today about telling Fingon. It was not how he had envisioned telling Fingon he loved him either, actually. But he'd take it. Messy, awkward, clumsy—he'd take it. Fingon loved him back and that was all that really mattered.

There was nothing to hide anymore, nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to regret. Fingon knew it all. They'd gotten through it, just as Fingon said they would.

"Where were we?" Fingon sat on the sofa next to him, that dazzling grin of his on display. "I seem to remember lots of kissing." He pulled Maedhros towards him, falling back on the sofa with Maedhros in his arms, their bodies pressed together, their mouths and tongues unhurriedly sliding over each other, Fingon's hands traveling up to sink in Maedhros' hair.

Maedhros' head fell onto Fingon's shoulder as they lay on the sofa and he sighed at the sensation. It was like that night at Avallonë—something just clicked into place and he felt as if he never wanted this moment to end. Fingon's fingers were stroking through his hair again and he could feel the brush of lips on his forehead. He tightened his grip around Fingon's waist as he nuzzled his neck.

He didn't know how long they rested on the sofa together like that, the warm comfort of Fingon's body next to him, his voice murmuring words of affection and reassurance to Maedhros, his own arms holding Fingon close-never wanting to let go. He was safe in Fingon's arms and even the past couldn't touch him there.

It must have been hours later when the silence was broken by Fingon. "Stay with me," he breathed in Maedhros' ear.

Maedhros pulled back to look at Fingon, with such love and tenderness in his face that it made Fingon catch his breath.

"Always," Maedhros said, before moving to claim Fingon's lips again, his hands sliding down Fingon's body, slipping under his shirt then up his chest, light touches alternating with a stronger grip as they pressed together, closer, closer.

He tightened his grip on Maedhros' hair. "Spend the night. Here. With me," he murmured against Maedhros' lips.

Maedhros pulled back to look at him again, pupils wide and face flushed. The crease between his eyebrows appeared as he looked down at Fingon.

Fingon brushed his fingers on the crease, trying to smooth it away. "There's nothing to worry about. We've been through the worst of it already."

"I know." Maedhros dropped his head down, so that he and Fingon were forehead to forehead.

Fingon could feel the warmth of his body, all along his. He could feel Maedhros' hardness against his thigh and felt his own answering arousal pressing against his jeans.

He smiled at Maedhros. "I never said anything about sleeping, you know. I just asked if you wanted to spend the night." He shifted his hips slightly and felt a shudder go through Maedhros at the sensation.

"Are you trying to distract me?"

"No. I can think of all kinds of ways to distract you, but right now I want your full attention," Fingon said.

"You have it."

"This sofa is not that comfortable."

"I hadn't noticed."

"I have a perfectly good bed that's going to waste, you know," Fingon pointed out.

"Are you suggesting we move?"

"What do you think?"

There were too many thoughts running through his head and it had been the kind of day that he knew would likely bring the nightmares again, if he let himself sleep. He would stay awake. It wasn't anxious thoughts that were keeping him up this time. Maedhros had not felt this hopeful, peaceful or content in a long time. He had told Fingon. That in itself was an accomplishment.

Slivers of moonlight came through the blinds as he lay in the bed. Fingon's head was resting against his chest, his breathing slow and even as he slept, exhausted from the day and their activities in this bed just a short time ago. He smiled as he looked down at Fingon's dark hair, gently touching one of the curls resting on the back of his neck. He loved the soft feel of Fingon's hair, the scent of it, the darkness of it against his fair skin.

He loved him. He would never have believed it possible a year ago, six months ago, two months ago. He closed his eyes and breathed in, his body relaxing even more against the sheets as he did.

Maedhros had been surprised to realize how much he missed Fingon's presence at night, after only a short week of being together. But even in his old room at his parents' house, the night before, he had missed that smile, that warmth, the comfort of him at his side.

But he really didn't need to worry about that anymore. Oh sure, there would always be times when they couldn't be together, like now over the holidays. But they were finite, short-term. Now that he had told Fingon everything he felt lighter, the weight of that hidden history dissipating. It wasn't gone, not by any means. They would have to deal with it, time and again, of that he was certain. But it would be different confronting it together.

Where they stayed for the night shouldn't be an issue anymore, Maedhros decided. Fingon could come out to Formenos whenever he wished and Maedhros could now stay in Tirion, with him, without the concern anymore. That would probably be easier for Fingon, once he started his internship, he realized.

Granted Finrod would be at the apartment in Tirion too but somehow that didn't bother him as much as it might have a few weeks ago. And maybe, just maybe, he could let himself actually sleep at Fingon's place.

He ran his fingers gently over Fingon's bare shoulder as the thoughts whirled through his mind. There were a few things that he knew set him off. It was inevitable that conversations like the one tonight would bring the memories back and end up disturbing his sleep. But the need for those kinds of conversations were thankfully few and far between anymore.

What else? Talk of Grandfather, of course. Anything to do with Morgoth, Angband. He thought back on the glorious stretches of time that he went without nightmares. What had given him such a long reprieve, before he met Fingon?

His eyes widened as he made a tentative connection. He hadn't really been going out much at all in the months before he met Fingon. Nights home with his brothers mostly, some family gatherings but none of the long nights with the grad school friends he used to indulge in when he was in school—nights spent in conversation, debate and the consumption of cheap wine and good beer. He ran through the last few weeks and it seemed there was a common thread—he'd have to think about that. He was willing to do anything to keep the nightmares at a minimum.

Even go back to therapy, he decided. He had hated it at the time but perhaps enough time had passed that it might do some good now. Maybe. Something more to think about.

He gently brushed his lips against Fingon's hair, reveling in the warmth of his body heat and the sensation of him. His breathing slowed and his eyes closed. His body relaxed against Fingon's, his fingers slowly going still, as Maedhros gradually and unexpectedly drifted off to sleep.

He woke up to Fingon, sleeping in his arms, their bare legs intertwined under the sheets. Maedhros blinked a few times and looked around him. He'd actually fallen asleep. In Fingon's bed. After that whole middle-of-the-night introspective internal monologue about why he wouldn't be able to do it, he'd actually gone and done it. And nothing had happened. No nightmares.

Maedhros shifted his hips slightly. He was sore but in a good way. He pressed a kiss to Fingon's forehead and felt Fingon shift closer to him. His eyes opened to look up at Maedhros and Fingon gently swept his disheveled hair to the side as he reached up to kiss him. "You're here," he said, his lips gently brushing against Maedhros'. "You didn't get any sleep, did you?"

"I actually did. You must have worn me out more than I realized," Maedhros gazed down at him affectionately, a spark in his eyes that made warmth rush through Fingon's chest. And other places.

"I think we need to try that one more time," Fingon said, that brilliant smile of his lighting up his face, as he went up on one elbow to look at Maedhros. "Practice makes perfect."

"I thought it was pretty perfect myself," Maedhros said, an answering smile on his face.

"I'll need to try it again to be sure," Fingon said assertively. "It might take me awhile to be absolutely certain we're doing it right." He moved to straddle Maedhros, his bare skin warm on Maedhros' own. "You might want to let Maglor know you'll be late." His hands moved over Maedhros' chest, light touches sliding down, each one making Maedhros shiver in anticipation. "On second thought, maybe you should just take him up on his offer to work for you today." He leaned down to cover Maedhros' mouth with his own, murmuring into his lips, as his hands drifted lower. "I think you've got better things to do."

Maedhros agreed but he really didn't have the capacity to say so, as Fingon moved over him, their bodies sliding against each other, heartbeats speeding up, breath mingling. Fingon fumbled a hand towards the nightstand, his lips never leaving Maedhros', his free hand keeping Maedhros' attention focused solely on him.

Of course, that left both of Maedhros' hands free to distract him, which meant that soon there were more than just panting breaths coming from Fingon, as Maedhros' lips moved to his neck, and Fingon found himself repeating his name over and over as the sensations washed over him.

He knocked something over on the nightstand. It didn't matter, he thought, as his hand finally found the items he had been searching for; he'd figure it out later. He had more important things to occupy him right now. To occupy both of them, he amended, as the activity of Maedhros' hands caused him to shudder again.

He pulled back, resting a hand against Maedhros' chest.

"Do you want me to stop?" Maedhros asked him, his silver eyes meeting Fingon's blue ones.

"No. I never want you to stop." Fingon leaned down to rest his forehead on Maedhros'. "I just wanted to look at you, my Maitimo, to convince myself you're really here. I've imagined this too many times."

He noticed how Maedhros' eyes crinkled in the corners as he smiled up at him. "I'm really here," Maedhros said, his hands moving to trail across Fingon's back and press him closer. "Shall I prove it to you?"

"I think you're going to have to convince me. Have any ideas how?"

Maedhros reached a hand to where Fingon was still clutching the items he had clumsily retrieved from the nightstand moments before. "I've got some ideas."

It was quite a bit later before he remembered to text Maglor.

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